Use legislative regulation to protect wild populations

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One review found that legislation to reduce trade in two frog species resulted in the recovery of the over-exploited populations.
  • One study in South Africa found that the number of permits issued for scientific and educational use of amphibians increased from 1987 to 1990.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1987–1990 of permits issued for amphibians in the Cape Province, South Africa (Baard 1992) found that the number issued for scientific and educational use increased over the three years. The number issued increased from 100 in 1987 to 380 in 1990. Data were obtained from the governmental licensing authority, Cape Nature Conservation. Permits obtained by scientists from institutions requiring study material and institutions requiring specimens for display or breeding were included. Permits obtained by private individuals to keep species in captivity were not included.

    Study and other actions tested
  2. A review in 2011 (Altherr, Goyenechea & Schubert 2011) found that following legislation to reduce trade in green pond frogs Euphlyctis Hexadactylus and the Indian bullfrog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, populations recovered from over-exploitation. Both species were categorised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as stable in the 2010 IUCN Red List. Populations of both species had crashed in India and Bangladesh following unsustainable use in the frog leg trade. During three years of monitoring in India, it was estimated that 9,000 tonnes of frogs were removed from the wild for frogs’ legs. In 1985, green pond frogs and Indian bullfrogs were listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). India banned export of frogs’ legs in 1987 and Bangladesh followed in 1989.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Smith, R.K., Meredith, H. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Amphibian Conservation. Pages 9-64 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Amphibian Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Amphibian Conservation
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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