Wildlife experts have warned that viral stunts like ‘frog army’ and ‘lady bug raid’ are ‘creating a vector for disease’.
Another social media user shared clips on the platform in which they appeared to release ‘100 million ladybugs’ into New York’s Central Park.
Experts have now warned such viral trends could have serious environmental consequences and could even lead to ‘mass extinction events’.
Tierra Curry, a conservation biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Guardian: “It makes me cringe. Instead of helping, [these TikTok users] are actually hurting the animals they’re releasing and all the animals in the environment that they’re releasing them into – it’s creating a vector for disease and invasive species.”
Chris Nagano, who spent 27 years as an endangered species biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, explained that relocating frogs is one of the species’ top threats.
He explained: “It’s the law of unintended consequences. I have no doubt this person may have thought he was doing a good thing, but he may actually be driving these populations to extinction.”
In 2019, The Conversation reported that the the chytrid fungi - introduced by humans’ ‘dispersal’ of amphibians - caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species.
Meanwhile, Dawood Qureshi, a marine biologist and researcher for BBC Wildlife, told Metro last month: “Breeding that many frogs is definitely not good for the environment.”
She added: “It can cause an influx in frogs that wouldn’t normally survive in this environment, and that can have adverse effects such as too many predators of various insect species being released without many natural limits.
“[This] then decreases numbers of insects and can in turn have a negative impact on important processes such as pollination — a process that ensures food plants are growing and thriving.”
TikTok user @thinfrog explained in his videos that he ‘wants to create the largest frog army in history’ and next year will ‘create a giant pond for 10 million frogs’.
@arkeslo, the social media user behind the ladybird video, claimed that after releasing 100 million bugs into the New York park he was served a lawsuit and fled the US as a result.
LADbible has approached both @thinfrog and @arkeslo for comment.
The Guardian notes that both users have hinted at further animal releases and have even suggested teaming up for a video.
However, there has been speculation that both the frog and ladybird videos may be a hoax.Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@thinfrog