Hunter and hunted. Frogs eat insects. They’re also an important source of food for people in West Africa. But too much hunting has decimated frog populations in many areas. Frogs & Friends and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin have an idea that could benefit both the frogs and the people: Frog farms in rice fields.
Setting: West Africa. Intense hunting is threatening to wipe out entire frog populations.
Our answer: People can live with and still live off the frogs, without driving them to extinction.
The complete Reportage about the "Benin's fields of frogs" project with all supplement contents can be experienced at the Frogs & Friends website: Frogs & Friends
The calls of the frogs bring rain, according to the rice farmers in Malanville. But can they imagine raising frogs in their fields?
When meeting up with the rice farmers in Malanville, in the border triangle of Benin, Niger, and Nigeria, we were surprised by their reaction.
To watch the complete story about our research trip to Benin, welcome to our Web-Reportage at Frogs & Friends.
Amietophrynus masculatus – Hallowell's Toad
Toads are poisonous, and this also applies to the Hallowell’s toad. Growing to some 10 cm, it makes for a popular meal in some regions of Burkina Faso nevertheless. It is all a question of knowing how to prepare it. Besides as food toads are regionally used to cure various diseases.
African clawed frogs of the genus Xenopus do not necessarily attract by their outer appearance. Nonetheless this aquatic frog is eaten by people. Although it can be found in waters in many African countries, it serves as popular food mainly in Nigeria.
The tangled tale of the African clawed frog
If you want to discover more about this extraordinary frog and his career as the first reliable pregnancy "tester" on earth, you'll find this story at the end of chapter 3 in our web-reportage: Benin's fields of frogs
Frogs can get sick, too. A skin swab can quickly determine whether the frogs carry diseases that could threaten both, individual animals and the whole project. A visit to an outdoor clinic.
The fish farm example - Factory farming versus organic methods. Should one really always have to sacrifice the environment for profitable farming? Frogs & Friends visit Benin’s fish farms.
Networking in Cotonou
A successful project needs more than just a good idea. It needs good partners. We found them at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Cotonou, a scientific counterpart to our german partners, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Robert Koch-Institute Berlin.
So the basis is set. Nevertheless, besides the scientific expertise, it'll need supporters who share our vision of a sustainable co-existence between humans and wildlife. Frogs & Friends
Exhibition by Frogs & Friends
Exhibition curators: Björn Encke & Annette Kinitz
Photographs: Mark-Oliver Rödel (frogs of West Africa), Mareike Hirschfeld (HUnter, smoked and dried frogs), Björn Encke ("making of" research trip)
With the support of the Interactive Media Foundation gGmbh (IMF)