China / World

Toxic trouble banishes frogs to the fringes

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-03-04 12:42

SYDNEY - The Cairns Frog Hospital has been operating for 18 years in Australia and is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world.

After moving five times, the practice has occupied its current location for eight years, but with the owner of the building wanting to sell the property, the hospital will be forced to move again.

Finding an appropriate rental property for any business can be challenging at the best of times, but for a frog hospital it is even more difficult.

"Real estate agents up here (North Queensland) are automatically spraying houses with pesticides, even if they don't need it," said Deborah Pergalotti, founder and president of the hospital.

"Once it has been sprayed, it is useless for our purposes."

In fact, the problem has not just made things challenging for the hospital. Frogs are in decline globally and Pergalotti said it is down to the overuse of these sprays.

"Frogs are very sensitive to chemicals and Australia is a very heavy chemical user," she said.

"It's not just farmers who use them, a lot of domestic households use these chemicals too, and unfortunately it only takes a small amount."

Also adding to the stress of relocation is the inflated rental prices in the area.

"Rents are escalating up here something chronic, in a reasonable neighborhood we are looking at around $340 per week. That's the bottom of the market," Pergalotti said.

There has also been pressure on the hospital from the local council, who wants the organization to move onto an acreage property, which could cost anywhere from $600 to $1,500.

"We've had to look in an area that starts two hours south of Cairns, right up to the region that is two hours north of Cairns, to find something that is not sprayed with pesticide and is a reasonable rental," she added.


Toxic trouble banishes frogs to the fringes

(China Daily 03/04/2017 page11)

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