Humans are eating frogs into extinction, says a study.
A world obsession with the French delicacy has seen the consumption of garlic sauteed frogs legs increase dramatically in the past 20 years, with scientists from the University of Adelaide predicting the global trade of the amphibians rests somewhere between 200 million to one billion each year.
"Frogs are already in a bad way throughout most parts of the world," Associate Professor Corey Bradshaw, from the university's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said.
"The main driver is certainly habitat loss, so we're already dealing with a group that's being hammered and we're eating up to one billion frogs a year, so we're not really helping them out much."
With more than 100 classes of amphibians already becoming extinct during the past few years, experts predict that up to 3000 species are not far off destruction.
Professor Bradshaw said he attributed the decline of the species to a shift from seasonal harvest for local consumption to year-round international trade.
He said unlike some other animals consumed by humans, people were harvesting wild populations of frogs due to the very slim chance of being poisoned.
"The chance of coming across a species that will give you an upset tummy is very low," he said.
Frogs played a vital role in almost all eco-systems and he said something needed to be done by humans now to prevent a devastating "chain reaction".
"Wild populations have depleted and countries have become concerned only now due to not having insect control for agricultural production."
Also a senior scientist at the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Professor Bradshaw suggested farming frogs for the specific purpose of human consumption instead of ravaging wild populations.
"We need to have a sustainable harvest level set and we need a certification programme not unlike the one used for crocodile skins."
He said the University of Adelaide put the study together with researchers in Canada, Singapore and the US.