UH invasive species expert finds Coqui frog on his Manoa property

Local News

One of Hawaii’s most notorious invasive species was found on Oahu this month.

The noisy Coqui frog was found on the property of an invasive species expert, University of Hawaii at Manoa professor Daniel Rubinoff.

“The Coqui picked the wrong yard.” Rubinoff joked.

“Apparently I was the first person in our neighborhood to get one.”

Rubinoff, who is a professor in the Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences, even second-guessed himself when he heard the unmistakable Coqui mating call due to its rarity on Oahu.

“I thought I was hearing something else and I realized it was a Coqui frog. After a couple of nights of hunting, we caught it, and it was indeed the first Coqui I think recorded in the Manoa area, and that’s a little bit scary.” Rubinoff said.

Coqui frogs have plagued the Big Island for decades. The frogs are native to Puerto Rico, but Hawaii Island has three times the density of Coqui frogs due to a lack of natural predators.

“It all depends on us,” Rubinoff said.

“They will make it here [to Oahu] repeatedly and we have to fight back every time. As soon as someone is not willing to fight back or says no I want them in my yard or I’m not letting you in here to control them we lose.”

Coqui frogs make a nearly 90 decibel sound when calling for mates. The calls are predominately made at night. If you hear or spot a Coqui frog, call the Department of Agriculture at 643-PEST (7378).

“Everybody should be listening for the coqui even if it’s a place you haven’t heard it before, even if it’s your house it can arrive anywhere, and we need to be able to respond quickly, and you should definitely call the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and report it as soon as possible so they can get right on that. Otherwise, we could end up like Big Island.” Rubinoff added.

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