21 February 2007

Endagered Eating - Mountain Chicken

Giant Ditch Frog (Leptodactylus fallax)

Mountain Chicken Legs with Pears


1 1/2 lb hard pears
6 pairs frog legs
1 dessertspoon oil
1 tsp ginger root juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sherry: salt
1/2 pint veal stock
1 tsp cornflour
2-3 tbsp cold water
few drop sesame oil

Core and slice the pears. Cut each frog leg into 2 pieces and put in hot oiled pan together with ginger root juice, sugar, sherry and salt to taste. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove frog legs and put in a dish. Add pears to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add cornflour diluted with water, and sesame oil, cook for 1 minute and serve.

The Giant Ditch Frog, is also known as the Mountain Chicken, supposedly because of its taste and size. It used to live on a number of Carribean islands, but is now confined to two: Montserrat and Dominica. One of the problems facing this frog besides the ever present chytrid fungus and the fact that much of their habitat on Montserrat has been destroyed by volcanos, is over-harvesting by humans for consumption. Invasives, such as pigs and rats, which disturb the frogs during breeding season, or feed upon the frogs, are also a problem. As you can see, the cards are stacked against this frog.

If you'd like to help, donate to Durrell Wildlife. They have a captive breeding program, and would also like to implement some new initiatives, including wild pig control, and education programs aimed at reducing the rate of consumption.

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