Current Status on Molokai
There are currently no known populations of coqui on Molokai. MoMISC works to educate community members to aid in early detection. Several coqui frogs have been reported and captured by MoMISC on Molokai.
What happens if someone is caught with coqui? All frogs in the order Anura are Hawaii State Injurious Species. It is prohibited to release Injurious Species into the wild; transport them to islands or locations within the State where they are not already established; or export outside the State. Any person or organization who intentionally transports, harbors or imports with the intent to propagate, sell, or release the coqui is in violation of State law and may be charged with a class C felony and subject to a minimum fine of $50,000 and maximum fine of $200,000, plus 3 years in prison.
PLEASE REPORT ANY COQUI FROG SUSPICIONS ON MOLOKAI IMMEDIATELY! CALL LORI BUCHANAN at (808) 336-0625 —- or EMAIL: email@example.com —- or call Statewide pest hotline at (808) 643-PEST
- Small, nocturnal (night-active) frog about the size of a quarter, up to two inches in length
- Usually brown or gray-brown, may have a lighter stripe down its back
- Male’s mating call is a two-note, high-pitched “co-qui” (pronounced ko-kee)
- Native to Puerto Rico, accidentally introduced to Hawaii hidden in plants around or before 1988
- Not sure if what you’re hearing is Coqui? check out this sound loop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-DeFADQZFA
- No natural predators to keep populations in check (and no natural competitors), populations have reached 55,000 frogs per hectare in some Hawaii populations (24,000 frogs per hectare in Puerto Rico)
- Eat huge quantities of insects, removing insects from forest floor to treetops.
- Loss of insect services such as pollination
- Disrupt the balance of vulnerable native ecosystems
- Potential food source for snakes if they were to arrive
- Loud, incessant and annoying call from dusk until dawn
- Adverse economic impacts on tourism
- Decreased export plant sales
- Disclosure requirement for real estate transactions, has resulted in decreased property values in some locations
The importing of plants to Molokai is the most common route of spread for many invasive species. Coqui are great at hiding and have been known to hitchhike around the islands in potted plants, landscaping material, camping equipment, vehicles, shoes, and building supplies.
- Hawaii Island – Coqui have completely invaded most of East Hawaii from Glenwood to Kalapana and throughout North Hilo, with dozens of smaller populations sprinkled throughout the rest of the island.
- Kauai – A breeding population of coqui covering about 10 acres was discovered in Lawai in 2001. After extensive efforts by KISC and partner agencies to eradicate coqui from Kauai, the island was declared officially coqui-free in June, 2012.
- Oahu – The only wild land population, located in Wahiawa, had over 100 calling frogs. Due to the efforts of HDOA, OISC, Oahu Army Natural Resources Program and DLNR, this population has been eradicated. Frogs are still found at nurseries and the owners are cooperating with the Oahu Coqui Frog Working Group.
- Maui – Thirteen populations in/around nurseries and hotels, residential areas and several large natural area populations. MISC has a full-time crew that spends a majority of their time clearing habitat and controlling coqui frogs within Maui’s populations.