Americana: Getting Jumpy About Frogs

In the 1940s, medical labs in California imported thousands of African clawed frogs to be used in pregnancy tests for women. Rabbits, however, proved quite significantly quicker and better, so the redundant frogs were released, and jumped along into mud dy coastal waterways and flood control basins from Santa Barbara to San Diego. It was an act of kindness that should have been avoided. Feeding insatiably on fish eggs, minnows, insects and tadpoles of other frog species, the aggressive African guests have upset the ecological balance in a five-county area.

Three years of control efforts, including massive poisoning, made no headway against...

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