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.
- Small, nocturnal (night-active) frog about the size of a quarter, up to two inches in length
- Color ranges from tan to dark 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
- 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.
- Creates loss of insect services such as pollination
- Disrupts the balance of vulnerable native ecosystems and has been known to change the chemical composition of the forest floor
- Potential food source for snakes, if they were to arrive
- Produces loud, incessant and annoying call from dusk until dawn (up to 90db)
- Has been known to cause adverse economic impacts on tourism
- Presence of coqui hinders export of plant sales
- Coqui presence disclosure requirement for real estate transactions, has resulted in decreased property values in some locations
A breeding population of coqui covering about 10 acres was discovered in Lawai in 2001. After extensive efforts by KISC, HDOA, and other partner agencies to eradicate coqui from Kauai, Lawai was officially declared coqui-free in June 2012.
Coqui frogs continue to hitchhike to Kauai from contaminated areas on other islands. It is important to report suspected coqui frogs immediately so that KISC and HDOA crew members can immediately capture and eliminate them.