Indian Bullfrog

Why is it in News?

Indian Bullfrog has become invasive in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Relevance to Prelims 2019:

In UPSC 2018, question was asked on invasive species ‘Prosopis juliflora (Videshi Kikar)’, so this new species becomes important from prelims perspective and a question was also asked on ‘Barren Island Volcano’. Andaman & Nicobar has been frequently seen in the news, therefore this segment becomes important from prelims perspective.

About Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus):

  • They are found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka. They are also found in the Maldives and Madagascar.
  • They prefer freshwater wetlands and aquatic habitats. Generally they avoid coastal and forest areas.
  • It was introduced in India's Andaman Islands in 2000, where it is now a widespread invasive species. It eats native fishes and lizards which is threatening the endemic species of the Andaman Islands.
  • IUCN status- Least concern

What is an Invasive Species?

  • As per Convention on Biological Diversity, "An invasive alien species (IAS) is a species that is established outside of its natural past or present distribution, whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity”.
  • An invasive species can be any kind of living organism – an amphibian, plant, insect, fish, fungus, bacteria, or even an organism’s seeds or eggs - that are not native to an ecosystem and may cause harm. Mainly, the species that grow and reproduce quickly, and spread aggressively, with potential to cause harm, are given the label “invasive.”

Andaman & Nicobar Islands:

  • Andaman and Nicobar islands is a set of 572 islands out of which 36 are inhabited. It is situated between 6 degree & 14 degree latitude and hence it receives rainfall from both South-west Monsoon & North-east Monsoon.
  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands are extension of Purvanchal ranges and are thus not of Coral origin as that of Lakshwadeep.
  • Barren Island is an island located in the Andaman Sea, dominated by Barren Volcano, the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia.
  • Great Channel separates Nicobar Island with Sumatra.
  • Ten Degree channel separates Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Tribes Present in A&N Islands:

There are four ‘Negrito’ tribes in the Andaman Islands - Great Anadamanese, Jarawa, Onge and Sentinels and two ‘Mongoloid’ tribes in the Nicobar Islands - Nicobarese & Shompen.

Source: TH, India Year Book 2019