Invading bullfrogs will eat almost anything!
Invading bullfrogs will eat almost anything! (Thinkstock / Reuters)
Invading bullfrogs will eat almost anything!
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An invasion of American bullfrogs that will eat just about anything, including each other, is spreading downstream along Montana's Yellowstone River. They pose a potential threat to native frogs, government scientists say.

Bullfrogs were found in surveys along a 66-mile stretch of the river from the Laurel area downstream to Custer, according to U.S. Geological Survey biologist Adam Sepulveda. The number of breeding sites for the frogs almost quadrupled between 2010 and last year, totaling 45.

"They are going to eat anything they can fit into their mouths. It doesn't matter if it's another frog or a bird or a mosquito," said Sepulveda. He co-authored a study on Yellowstone River bullfrogs appearing in the journal Aquatic Invasions.

Bullfrogs as long as 12 inches when outstretched have been found. One that was caught near the Audubon Conservation Center in Billings last year had a bird in its stomach.

State and federal agencies initially tried to stop the invaders in their tracks by killing them all off. But they gave up after the number of bullfrogs overwhelmed the effort. They're now trying to come up with a strategy to at least contain their spread.

Bullfrogs are native to the eastern U.S. They were spread by humans to every state except North Dakota.

They've caused many problems. The bullfrogs prey on native frogs, out-compete other animals for food, and spread a fungus that's suspected of causing a widespread decline in amphibians, Sepulveda said.

They were first documented in eastern Montana in 1999. Scientists believe they descended from released pet frogs or bullfrog tadpoles used as bait by fishers.

The frogs have inhabited areas of western Montana since the 1920s. They likely were introduced by a farming operation, which sold their legs to be eaten, Sepulveda said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do invading bullfrogs pose a threat to native frogs?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/invading-bullfrogs-will-eat-almost-anything/

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COMMENTS (293)
  • mykalb-Orv
    10/07/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    this must be tuff for scientists to stop a animal that has already spread through America and that can stay alive because they will eat anything that they can get there moves on

  • peachy darlingroo
    10/07/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    Bull frogs will become a threat because native frogs will become extinct if the bull frogs keep eating them or anything else that they can fit in there mouth. :o

  • AC2001curly
    10/07/2014 - 01:05 p.m.

    They pose a threat because they probably feel harmed. They probably feel harmed because the animal that they're around probably makes them scared.

  • Tripp_Barrick
    10/07/2014 - 01:05 p.m.

    The invading bullfrogs pose a threat to native frogs because they are eating the native frogs food and the native frogs themselves. They are also suspected in spreading a fungus which is declining amphibian lives.

  • wpapril30
    10/07/2014 - 01:10 p.m.

    invading bullfrogs pose a threat to native frog because bullfrog are 2 time bigger then a normal frog and bullfrog might mistake by eating a frog instead of it normal meal. It ward how they eat other frog.

  • nicoleanne23
    10/07/2014 - 01:11 p.m.

    That is a little bit weird to me. I usually don't hear of frogs eating birds or anything they can fit into their mouths. I also wonder how humans spread bullfrogs to almost every single state!

  • joemst31234asdf
    10/07/2014 - 01:12 p.m.

    They are a threat because they eat the frog eggs that they lay, they will also eat turtle eggs. the bull frog is one of the biggest frogs in the world, they will also eat tad pools, frogs, salamanders, small birds, water bugs, land bugs, small snakes, little fish, and flies. they are also a hazard in the stats of America, they sometimes stop traffic because of migration, so they have to cross the road.

  • annasusan
    10/07/2014 - 01:13 p.m.

    Why invading bullfrogs pose a threat to native frogs is because if the invading bullfrogs keep eating the native frogs and anything else they see, the native ones will go extinct.

  • Benjamin.F
    10/07/2014 - 01:14 p.m.

    When I was reading this article I would have never guessed that something as small as frogs could be such a problem. It's kinda funny how stupidly annoying these frogs are I mean you try to exterminate them but there is just too many frogs to be exterminated so that's what I find about this article.

  • Benjamin.F
    10/07/2014 - 01:14 p.m.

    When I was reading this article I would have never guessed that something as small as frogs could be such a problem. It's kinda funny how stupidly annoying these frogs are I mean you try to exterminate them but there is just too many frogs to be exterminated so that's what I find about this article.

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