Tiny Coqui Frog Making a Huge Ruckus in Hawaii

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Happy New Year, everyone! The blog’s been in hibernation since we got back, but now seemed a good time as any to revive it. We’ve been back in Hawaii since August and done some domestic traveling, including a visit to the Big Island and the volcano. Pictures from that trip to come…

But first, while we were in Hilo, we couldn’t help but notice the loud calls of the coqui frog at night. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re an invasive inch-long frog that comes from Puerto Rico where they are cherished and beloved. But in Hawaii, with no natural predators, they’ve multiplied like Tribbles on Star Trek and screech all night. It’s sounds that rainforest/jungle track you hear on CDs from the Nature Company, except magnified by the thousands — and right outside your bedroom window. I ended up writing an article for the Los Angeles Times about the frog, and the noise. Here’s an excerpt:

“There’s a different kind of neighborhood watch on duty in Puuloa, a small rural subdivision on Hawaii’s Big Island. Wearing headlamps and armed with hand sprayers filled with citric acid, Daniel Montgomery and his neighbors creep through backyards listening for the intruder’s distinctive call:

“Ko Keee … Ko KEEE.”

The coqui frog has infested large swaths of the Big Island, with more than 10,000 per acre in the worst-hit areas.

The frogs’ high-pitched nighttime mating calls have caused residents many sleepless nights. But a few communities have managed to stay coqui-free, and Montgomery and his two dozen neighbors are determined to keep the coqui at bay.

Go here to read the full story.

And listen to a frog chirp here:

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One response to “Tiny Coqui Frog Making a Huge Ruckus in Hawaii

  1. I was on the big island a few months ago and the coqui are pretty much entrenched there. As I started to fall asleep, it seemed like the sounds of the many coqui together were like humans conversing. It may sound crazy but it happens every time I hear them singing before I go to bed or wake up in the middle of the night for some reason.
    Also as a footnote, on a random conversation with a female resident of Puerto Rico, she said she loves the Big Island of Hawaii because there is nowhere else in the world that she know of that the Coqui Frogs would choose to make their home.

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