The Froggate : should we help these migrant frogs to stay in their adopted pond ?

@topffer (36061)
Svalbard And Jan Mayen
June 26, 2016 5:03am CST
A frog is a wild animal, noisy during the love period in May and June, but what can we do against love ? Grignols is a charming old village in a beautiful area of France, Périgord, more famous until now for its painted prehistoric caves and its truffles than for its frogs, but it might change. The Pécheras, a couple living in Grignols, have a pond, and the pond is inhabited by a few frogs. The Pécheras are swearing that they did not brought the frogs in the pond, and that they are about 30. Their neighbors are telling that they are hundreds and that they were not in the pond in the past. Scientists and experts are working on these important points. The neighbors of the Pécheras are a bit litigious : they went to court for a dividing fence, and for a few bamboos that were masking the sun to them, and lost their trials. Then came these noisy migrant frogs, early in this century. They found the noise of the frogs unacceptable. They sent a bailiff at night during the love season of the frogs at the limit of their property, and this man of justice, equipped with a sonometer duly checked by weights and measures officers, found 63 decibels, approximately the noise of a washing machine. It was more than their ears could support, and they sued again the Pécheras, to shut up the frogs in their pond. The civil court in Périgueux decided that a frog was not a domestic animal and that the Pécheras could not be held responsible for the calls of love of the frogs. Outraged by this judgment, the neighbors decided to appeal, and they paid a good lawyer to cope with the situation. The pond is old and in the land register since more than a century, but the Pécheras have enlarged it, and they should better have not : actually a pond has to be at 50 m of another property, this one was only at 4 m after the enlargement, like a document established by a certified surveyor proves it. Eureka ! The lawyer asked to the court to close this illegal pond full of migrant frogs ! The Bordeaux Court of Appeal followed him and has convicted the Pécheras at the beginning of this month to fill immediately their pond, fixed a penalty of 150 Euros by day of delay, and ordered them to pay for the procedure and the expenses associated made by their neighbors : it is a 9000 Euros bill. You should have perhaps guessed it, but all frogs are protected animals in France. The Pécheras sent a SOS to an environmental protection association to save their pond and its inhabitants, and they have decided to lodge an appeal to the Court of Cassation. Besides, an online petition has been launched to save the pond and permit to these migrant frogs to continue to shout their calls of love. It has already received more than 80 000 signatures, and they expect 150 000 signatures to send it to the courts and to the French minister of Environment. I give you the link. The main point of this petition is : "Say No to a framed aseptization of Nature." My opinion is divided here : if we were not maintaining the nature in our gardens we would soon live in a jungle (I have just ended to clean my garden, and it was a jungle), but on another hand, we have also to respect wild animals when we can(I kept a tree only because a couple of turtle doves are nesting in it). What do you think about this "Froggate" ? Is it only a funny quarrel between neighbors ? What are the values to defend here : the wild calls of love of the frogs or the sleep of their human neighbors ? Something else ?
Soutien à Annie et Michel Pecheras, habitants de Grignols à quelques kilomètres de Périgueux, en Dordogne. Ils viennent d'être condamnés par la cour d'appel de Bordeaux a combler leur mare. Le coassement des grenouilles gêne leurs voisins installés à une d
18 people like this
19 responses
@Drosophila (16699)
• Ireland
26 Jun 16
Am all for it! If I ever run out of food I can just nip to my backyard for some fresh supply!
4 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
OMG ! A British frog eater ! I would not have thought that such thing was existing.
4 people like this
@Drosophila (16699)
• Ireland
26 Jun 16
@topffer frogs can be very tender and tastey if cooked right!
3 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
@Drosophila I agree. You should invite your neighbors : there is a long time that you have not freaked them out.
3 people like this
@Susan2015 (21677)
• United States
26 Jun 16
If the frogs are that loud, then it would bother me to. But they have a right to be here just like we do. Glad you got your garden jungle taken care of.
3 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
Frogs are noisy, but I think that you do not hear them after a while when you live near a pond or a river. The main problem here is these neighbors that have sued the Pècheras 3 times for minor troubles, not the frogs. I cannot tell that the garden is clean, but it looks more civilized. I cut several trees, and I keep the wood to make BBQs next year.
4 people like this
@Susan2015 (21677)
• United States
26 Jun 16
@topffer Isn't there some kind of fencing that would help to keep the noise out? It would seem like they could relocate some of the frogs too.
4 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
@Susan2015 An anti noise fence would probably mask them the view, and they would start another trial. I believe that at the end the frogs will be moved/relocated in another place if they cannot stay in this pond. It is already a lot of money spent for a few frogs : 9000 Euros of lawyers, bailiffs, surveyors
4 people like this
@scheng1 (24742)
• Singapore
26 Jun 16
Frogs are protected? That is new to me. Over here, we buy small frogs to feed our aquarium fish, and we buy big frogs to make frog porridge. if you have a chance to visit Asia, you can ask for frog porridge. It is really nice.
2 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
All varieties of native frogs are protected in France by law since 1976. Two varieties can be fished during a few months with a fishing license. You fish them with a bit of red wool, and it is funny. I did it when I was a kid. I did not know frog porridge, but we eat frog legs here.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24742)
• Singapore
26 Jun 16
@topffer Yes, frog legs are part of our culture here too. When we go to the supermarket, we can buy whole frog (already killed) or buy the frog legs.
2 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
@scheng1 I bought frog legs from Indonesia, and the frogs are not the same : the legs are bigger, but they are less tasty than our native frogs.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (175970)
• Switzerland
26 Jun 16
Frogs are also protected here in Switzerland and they love to come to our pond in May and June. They can be pretty noisy, especially in May, but Switzerland is not a very hot country and people usually have the windows shut in May. I am sure that with the help of the environmental protection association they can win. About lawyers and court, how was the result of your problem about your lands?
2 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
I lived in Poitiers, and the river there is full of frogs. I never heard anybody near the river complaining about the frogs : I think that you do not hear them after a while... I believe that they can obtain a Cassation, but it is not sure that they will be able to keep their pond. Anyways, it is not the frogs that should be relocated in the interest of the neighborhood, but the neighbors. For my case, the public rapporteur has followed quite completely my conclusions (well, the conclusions of my friend and his ex) in his conclusions. I was asking to annul the urban plan for a mistake in the procedure without believing that they would do it, because it is very rare (such requests are accepted maybe 3 or 4 times/year in France), and he asked the court to annul it completely ; and I was also asking to reclassify my lands in a building area because of a misuse of powers : he asked the court to reclassify them because of a manifest error of assessment, which is a bit more friendly for the town, but the final result is the same. I was the last case to be called, and for all the cases before me, the public rapporteur concluded that the court should reject the requests, so I can thank my friend and his previous girlfriend for this success. Now I have to wait for the judgement. The president has been kind with me and I expect the court to follow the rapporteur. But with the annulment of the plan, there are a lot of risks that the town will appeal, because starting again a plan from zero costs a lot of money to a small town, and this judgement will create a mess, because they are applying their new plan since 2 years.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (175970)
• Switzerland
26 Jun 16
@topffer About the frogs, you are right, the one to be relocated should be the neighbors. I am glad that your case had a good start. May be that the town will not appeal, this also costs a lot of money.
2 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
@LadyDuck The town was expecting me to pay for their lawyer if they had won ; at least they asked for it in the conclusions of their lawyer They are lucky somewhere, as I was representing myself (I was the only one with no lawyer this day), and I did not asked them a cent : I do not count my hours, all I have had are a few train travels and a few registered letters, not free, but less than 400 Euros. I will also have to pay the champagne to my friend next time I will go to Paris if the judgement is favorable. If they appeal, I will also represent myself... However, there is a big difference between a new plan and a lawyer for an appeal : the second costs about 20 times less, so it might be interesting, even if they have not a lot of chances because you cannot raise a new argument in an administrative court, like you can do in a civil court. The frogs are giving a good example : at the first level, the lawyer directed his/her conclusions against the frogs, and changed completely in the appeal court, directing the conclusions against the pond. It is impossible to do this in an administrative court : he would have had to target together the frogs and the pond at first level, or he would not have been allowed to invoke the pond in appeal.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134920)
• Bunbury, Australia
26 Jun 16
What a complicated scenario. I wonder what the outcome will be.
2 people like this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
The frogs will probably be moved somewhere else if the pond cannot be kept. It would be better to move the neighbors but a court cannot order that.
2 people like this
@DaddyEvil (25922)
• Aurora, Missouri
28 Jun 16
@topffer Top? Here, the court could only order the pond reduced back to the original size, since it was listed for more than 50 years... How can they order the entire pond filled? Would that not destroy the ecosystem for that area? It is adapted to having a constant source of standing water...
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134920)
• Bunbury, Australia
28 Jun 16
@topffer It is fun to think about though isn't it? 'The court rules that you and you and you must move out of the area'.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
27 Jun 16
Fantastic. We have frogs in our pond but I've not heard them getting romantic.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
27 Jun 16
They do not sing when the night falls ? They are perhaps anemic.
@boiboing (12881)
• Northampton, England
27 Jun 16
@topffer I think the fish are giving them evil looks and telling them to shut up.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
27 Jun 16
@boiboing You should offer a few fishes to this couple if they are good to keep frogs quiet.
@koopharper (6758)
• Canada
26 Jun 16
I imagine the sound of the frogs is a constant irritant but I find going to court over it is a little over the top. Fortunately most of our wildlife is quiet most of the time.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
Yes, frogs are noisy, but I think that people living near a pond or a river get used to it. I lived several years near a church with a loud bell ringing every hour, and after a while I was not noticing anymore the sound of this specific bell. When you live in the countryside, I believe that you have to accept the noises coming from the nature.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Jun 16
@topffer My wife grew up along a river in Quebec that was full of noisy frogs. It was an annoying sound but I quickly got used to it.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
@koopharper I lived in a city with a river which was also full of frogs, but people living near the river were not complaining and I never heard of someone suing or asking the city to remove the frogs. These people are litigious and apparently they like to start trials against their neighbors : it is the kind of neighbor that I would not like to have.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25922)
• Aurora, Missouri
28 Jun 16
Where do I sign, Top? LOL! I'm with Wendy! While she nips out the back door, catches and skins the frogs I will get the griddle hot and ready for our evening meal! Mmmm! Frog legs are delicious! How about it, @Drosophila? Will you catch and clean them or do I have to do all the work? LOL!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
28 Jun 16
I have not fished frogs since I was a kid. It was a lot of fun and I certainly prefer to catch them than to skin them.
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25922)
• Aurora, Missouri
28 Jun 16
@topffer I haven't gone gigging frogs since I was in my early 20's, Top. (Lord, that was a long time ago!) The very last time I went frogging, one of my friends cleaned the frogs and I started cooking them. He had left a set of jumpers in one of the frogs and the legs jumped right down my uhhh... I lost one frog to the trash can, but the rest were delicious!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
28 Jun 16
@DaddyEvil I do not like to skin a frog, and I would never skin an eel. But fishing them is a lot of fun.
@Mike197602 (13911)
• United Kingdom
26 Jun 16
If they are protected how come you can eat them and where do you get them from?
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
Two varieties can be fished during a few months/year and eaten, but as they are protected they cannot be traded. In restaurants, the frogs are coming from Asia or for frog farms : discussing with @scheng1 I have realized that we have a big frog farm in South France producing a few tons of a green "domestic" frogs issued from a natural selection of wild green frogs, the frogs that we eat usually.
1 person likes this
@Mike197602 (13911)
• United Kingdom
26 Jun 16
@topffer it does seem slightly strange to have an animal you eat as a protected specie The noise might annoy me but I'm not sure I'd want the pond removed...the volume of a washing machine isn't much and I think I could put up with it if the noise wasn't year long.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (16911)
• South Africa
28 Jun 16
I hate frogs actually I am Ranidaphobia, but because there were none to be seen in the picture I decided to read. I have a friend from a local University that travels to France every three months to do research on the frogs - it seems France us the place for some very famous frogs - eeeeeeeeek , I just cannot look at them, know about them = nothing!!!
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
28 Jun 16
I would not discuss about phobias. I always found toads repulsive, but I have nothing against frogs. I suppose that you would like to have the pond closed and the frogs deported in Siberia?
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (16911)
• South Africa
29 Jun 16
@topffer not really - just avoidance will be advised
1 person likes this
@skysnap (18037)
27 Jun 16
sometimes we have to let the nature be on its terms.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
27 Jun 16
It is true, although it should have been discussed here if the neighbors were not people multiplying trials just to annoy their other neighbors. I hope that the frogs will stay there as long as possible.
@skysnap (18037)
27 Jun 16
@topffer true.. i guess they do better in pond than in river.
@Marcyaz (35606)
• United States
26 Jun 16
I think the neighbors are being unreasonable and do not like their neighbors. I don't see how toads could be something that would harm the environment, do you? Yes, I do think it is only a quarrel between neighbors.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
I agree : someone normal does not spend thousands of dollars of lawyers and experts just because a few frogs are noisy. It is the third trial started by these neighbors for minor troubles, and the first time that a court says that they are right. It is the kind of neighbors that I would not like to have.
@Marcyaz (35606)
• United States
26 Jun 16
@topffer The kind of neighbors they are no one wants to have. Can not believe they are spending so much money over a little noise, geez.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (69865)
• Roseburg, Oregon
4 Jul 16
That is pretty sad when you pick on frogs and want them gone.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
4 Jul 16
I suppose frogs are just another pretext to annoy their neighbors
@bunnybon7 (37400)
• Holiday, Florida
28 Jun 16
they should have adjusted to the sound by now. I did when we lived near a pond. I love frogs btw.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
28 Jun 16
I suppose that they want more to annoy their neighbors than they are annoyed by the frogs. I also love frogs... especially their legs, roasted with a bit of garlic.
@JESSY3236 (7295)
• United States
27 Jun 16
I think It would bother me too. But can't the neighbors wear noise canceling headphones to bed?
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
27 Jun 16
When they are a lot, they make a background noise that you do not hear after a while. I lived in a city with thousands of frogs in a river and I never heard somebody living near the river complaining about the noise. Here the frogs came in this pond circa 2000, and the neighbors waited more than 10 years to start a trial. I think that if the frogs had really disturbed them they would have not waited so many years. It is their 3rd trial against the Pécheras for minor troubles, and the first time that they win. If you buy them headphones, they will find something else.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (102514)
• United States
27 Jun 16
It sounds as if the complaining neighbors have something against the home owners with the pond that they cannot get ironed out, so they instead pick on the frogs, the fences and any other small thing that they can. I also agree that the neighbors need relocated as it sounds as if they do not intend to get along at all.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
27 Jun 16
It is a plague to have neighbors like these. I have several buildings and lands and I am probably more diplomatic than this couple, but I have had to suffer various quarrels and a trial from a neighbor who had already sued all his other neighbors to obtain various land easements, rights of way, etc. There is probably something like this between these neighbors. I pity the Pécheras... and I hope that they will win and that the frogs will not have to move.
@sj3011 (631)
26 Jun 16
Ya right we have to takecare of nature as you said one ofthe para that we have to live in jungle.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
We cannot let the nature invade us, and there was perhaps an intermediate/amicable solution that could be found here, like relocating the frogs in the nearest river...
@jaboUK (55053)
• United Kingdom
26 Jun 16
I'd be on the side of the Pecheras, but perhaps they should not have enlarged their pond. The solution perhaps is to make them restore it to it's original size so that it is farther away from their neighbour's property.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
This pond was legal only because it was old, and would not be authorized today, so, yes, it was a mistake to have enlarged it. Restoring it to its original size would probably be the good solution, and they can perhaps ask it to the Court of Cassation. The Court of Cassation does not judge the details but only if the law has been followed, and they can tell that the judges of Appeal made a mistake because a part of this pond was legal. It might work. I read that the Association wants to insist on the protected status of the frogs. It offers also a good possibility of Cassation, but if the Court of Cassation sends the case to another Court of Appeal, this Court can decide that the frogs will be caught and put somewhere else before filling the pond, so it will not save the pond as well.
1 person likes this
• China
26 Jun 16
When I was a child I lived in a small town.There were so many frogs in the field and in pools.They were noisy every evening.Some people catched frogs and sold them.
1 person likes this
@topffer (36061)
• Svalbard And Jan Mayen
26 Jun 16
Our frogs are small but they are also noisy. I fished frogs a few times when I was a kid, and it was a lot of fun.
1 person likes this