Coqui Frog Still a Challenge
The coqui frog continues to migrate among our Hawaiian Islands. In 2018, coqui frogs were found on Molokai, and since last September a half dozen have been caught in the Kapahi area of Kauai. So now, the coqui is on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai.
The coqui frog is another invasive species accidentally brought into the Big Island several decades ago. The coqui are quite adaptable to our climate here and have been found everywhere from sea level to 4,000 feet above sea level in areas of Volcano, Hawaii. The problem has been so big in Hilo and Kona that neighborhoods have banned together and created ‘coqui watches,’ something akin to neighborhood watch programs. Even Hilo and Kona realtors have had to disclose whether coqui frogs are established near or around properties for sale because of the very loud mating noises they make from dusk to dawn.
Even worse than the annoying and loud noises made by these tiny frogs, the coqui have no natural predators here in Hawaii, so they just continue to happily multiply. The coqui also enjoy eating large amounts of insects, which might be okay except that some of the insects they eat provide pollination to our ecosystems.
Folks in Kona and Hilo have already experienced negative impacts to tourism as well as decreased property values where the coqui frog mating calls are bad. Even the federal government has provided financial support of coqui frog eradication in Hawaii. Even so, the challenge continues to spread. Please kokua. If you see a coqui frog, call the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) at 643-PEST.