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PROTESTERS TO DESCEND ON RIO GRANDE CAFÉ LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Environmental Group Save The Frogs Organizing Protests Over Frog Leg Sales

For Immediate Release
Return to the Press Releases Homepage

Santa Cruz, CA - 27-August-2010. Supporters of the environmental conservation group Save The Frogs are planning their third round of protests at Rio Grande Café in Arlington, VA this Saturday, September 4th. Save The Frogs, which is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to protecting amphibians, says the Tex-Mex chain is contributing to the extinction of frog species worldwide by selling frog legs at its 16 locations.

http://savethefrogs.com/froglegs

“The frog leg trade is responsible for the spread of infectious diseases, the depletion of wild frog populations, and the spread of harmful invasive species”, says Dr. Kerry Kriger, the Manassas, VA native who founded and directs Save The Frogs. Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande restaurants have yet to respond to any of the 1,000+ letters Save The Frogs supporters have sent them requesting the restaurants remove the frog legs from their menus.

Amphibian populations in Virginia and worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Up to 200 species have already completely disappeared in recent years. Amphibians are faced with an onslaught of environmental problems, including climate change, pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades.

Rio Grande Cafe sells American Bullfrogs farm-raised in China. These farm-raised bullfrogs are known carriers of a deadly chytrid fungus that has caused the extinction of up to 100 amphibian species worldwide. “Over 60% of the American Bullfrogs entering the United States were infected with the chytrid fungus in a recent study”, says Dr. Kriger.

But spreading disease is not the only havoc the bullfrogs wreak. The bullfrogs, which are farmed worldwide, regularly escape their holding pens and have become harmful invasive species in 15 countries. Eating just about anything that fits in their large mouths, the introduced bullfrog populations damage local ecosystems by eating native frogs and other wildlife. Are wild-caught frogs any better? According to Dr. Kriger, whose group succeeded in getting San Francisco’s Restaurant Gary Danko to drop the wild-caught Pig Frogs off their menu, the answer is no. “Well over 100 million frogs are taken out of the wild each year for use as food.”

Saturday’s protests will not be the first the group has held. Twice previously, Save The Frogs supporters have taken to the streets at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande restaurants in Virginia, Maryland and Texas. Dr. Kriger hopes the protests will educate restaurant patrons about frog extinctions and Rio Grande Café’s detrimental environmental practices and encourage them to eat elsewhere. “Our protests are extremely successful at convincing potential patrons to choose another place to eat. As Rio Grande’s revenues drop, they’ll be forced to do the right thing and drop the frog legs from their menus”.

Save The Frogs has created a webpage detailing problems caused by the frog leg trade, including a petition people can send to Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café CEO Todd Conger, and information for those who wish to take part in Saturday’s protests:
http://savethefrogs.com/froglegs

Protest Information:
Saturday, September 4th, 2010
5pm-8pm
Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Café
4301 N. Fairfax Dr. Arlington, VA 22203
speakup@savethefrogs.com

Contact:
Kerry Kriger, Ph.D.
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder, Executive Director and Ecologist
Phone: (831) 621-6215
E-mail: contact@savethefrogs.com

About SAVE THE FROGS!
SAVE THE FROGS! (http://savethefrogs.com) is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.

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