Friday, Jul. 08, 2005 at 1:06 a.m.
Frog hell letter in Maui Newspaper today
Hey now frog fighters.
Been a long time since I updated. Below is the text of a letter I just got published in the Maui Newspaper today. I guess this will tell you what has happened with the Big Island of Hawaii and the LOUD noisy frogs. Damn if only the people had listened to us when we set up this page. Now things are just plain out of control.
If you are here for coqui frog information take heart, we have made progress in finding a frog killing brew, I will be posting it here soon. Yes I am back, check it out... Welcome me back to the wonderful world of frog blogging.
I need a redesign badly I paid someone for this mess and I am not happy with it. Can someone help us please to make this site more effective. Thanks.
Maui needs to unite against the quiet-destroying coqui frogs
When coqui frogs were starting to heavily infest the Big Island, Sydney Ross Singer wrote many bad science, pro-frog letters in the Hawaii Island Journal.
It is frog hell here now. The frog shrieking is ear damaging, loud and completely unlivable at night. It is a tragedy and Sydney Ross Singer had a huge hand in making it happen.
He divided our community at the early stage in the fight, and now some neighbors are “frog zombies” quoting dogma according to Singer such as “the little frogs didn’t ask to be here,” etc.) You can’t get to the infestations on their property, so the problem goes on and on. Even if you somehow manage to get your yard quiet, you can still hear the loud frog racket surrounding you.
Hawaii lacks the large assortment of natural predators like whip scorpions and snakes that keep the frog numbers down in their natural habitats like Puerto Rico. Coqui frogs allowed to get a claw-hold here multiply until they dominate.
I am devastated to hear Singer is still writing pro-frog disinformation (Viewpoint, May 27). Please don’t fall for it Maui! You risk loosing your beautiful quiet nights forever.
If you work together as a community, I hope you can save Maui from the Big Island’s noisy fate.
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Thanks for coming by. Please bookmark, so you can come back and read our Hawaiian coqui tree frog updates. More research links, articles, poetry and funny songs from Kill the Noisy Frogs Hawaii. Aloha, Joy
"Lurking in the shadows are the noisy alien species, waiting to ruin your vacation. The hideous sounds of night are calling, it's twillight time for Hawaii."
Frog Research Links
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Hawaiian Coqui Frog Home Page
Word of the day
Coqui: Small frog BIG sound.
"On October 1, 2001, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had approved the use of caffeine to fight the infestation of coqui frogs in Hawaii. Coqui frogs are not native to Hawaii and have no natural enemies on the Islands. The frogs are considered pests because they compete for food with Hawaii's native bird population. The loud mating call of the coqui frog does not help its reputation: according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the call of the frog sounds like a lawn mower, table saw, or helicopter."
Joy's note: Because of Sydney Ross Singer and his letters and articles they were not allowed to use the caffeine and today it sits in a warehouse. That's right, $25,000 worth of caffeine that could have saved us from this frog plauge, denied use. That caffeine is sitting there with the ancestors watching and wondering how we have allowed this to happen to this sacred land. Will our beloved Hawaiian island be infested for all eternity because of one misguided man?
Sydney Ross Singer, I challenge you to write a retraction in the Hawaii Island Journal newspaper. You need to refute your wrong headed statements and remove your pro frog website from cyberspace. Please listen Sydney, we need you to help us fight this pest, not try to convince people that the frog is our friend. The invasion by these alien frogs is the worst disaster these islands have ever endured. Look through the research links to educate yourself. Aloha.
"The fact that they undergo direct development enables the eggs and larvae enable them to be transported under a wide variety of conditions, as long as sufficient moisture is available, or the adult male is transported with the eggs. Transport of lone eggs may not be successful in some regions since they must be protected from desiccation throughout development by the adult male. This may not be the case in Hawaii, which receives more rainfall than just about anywhere on earth."
"In Puerto Rico all coquíes are called coquí even though not all sing ''co-quí''. Only two of the species the ''Coquí Común'' and the ''Coquí de la Montaña or Coquí Puertorriqueño'' actually scream ''co-quí''.Puerto Rican coquíes have relatives all over Latin America. The coquí genre is found in all the Caribbean Islands, and in Central and South America. But again, the only ones that make the sound ''co-quí'' are Puerto Rican.
The scientific name for the coquí is Eleu-thero-dactylus, characterized because they have no webbed toes. There are 16 different species in Puerto Rico and all of them have padded discs at the end of their toes which helps them climb. Coquíes are classified as amphibians - a grouping for cold blooded vertebrates that includes frogs, toads, or newts -that are able to live in both water and land.
Contrary to frogs, the coquíes do not go through a tadpole stage and break out of their egg - a small replica of their parents. Some coquíes are terrestrial some are arboreal.
"The coqui frog, however, is distinguished by the loud, continuous chirping of the male. Beginning at dusk and continuing until dawn, male coqui frogs move into the trees and call “ko-kee” over and over to attract females. The noise from a group of frogs can exceed 90 decibels, rivaling the sound of a lawnmower or chainsaw." The male frog is responsible for protecting the egg clutch laid by the female. The eggs are less than a quarter inch in diameter with about 2 to 3 dozen eggs per clutch. During the early stages of development, the eggs are milky white, but they become translucent to transparent just before hatching. Juvenile frogs hatch after 2 or 3 weeks. Unlike most frogs, which begin their life cycle as tadpoles, Caribbean tree frogs hatch into fully developed froglets."
"More than a noisy nuisance, coqui are eyed as threat to island fauna. Absent natural predators here, they are likely to wipe out many native species of insects and other small creatures in our forests. Some researchers think it's presence on the islands poses a POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL NIGHTMARE of even greater dimensions."
The nightmare is NOW. Biocontrol seems the only answer. What we are enduring with this NOISY sleep depriving monster is unbearable beyond words.
If you have ever loved Hawaii, please find a frog control method. Contact me right away it you do. I have never been more eager to talk to someone. Mahalo.
"The coqui, a Puerto Rican frog, has invaded formerly frog-free Hawaii, probably having arrived in imported nursery stock. Not only does it disturb fragile Hawaiian ecosystems, which already have many of their inhabitants on the endangered species list, but it also makes an incredible racket that presents a serious long-term threat to Hawaii's attractiveness to tourists, retirees, and locals. Each coqui emits a croak described as "a car alarm going off." There are thousands, perhaps millions, there. The responsible officials say that when they first discovered the frogs they should have eradicated them. But by the time they got the needed funding, the coqui was out of control. Peaceful Hawaiian nights are the victim."
"Coqui (Caribbean frog) (Eleutherodactylus coqui [Leptodactylidae]) The coqui is a species of frog that is not native to Hawaii; in fact, there are no native amphibians in Hawaii! Coqui are native to Caribbean islands. Coquis pose threats to the tourism industry and our quality of life. Increasing numbers of hotels, visitors, and locals have complained about the piercing noise made by male coqui frogs. At night male coqui emit a loud call (up to 90-100 decibels) that often disturbs people’s sleep. Consequently, several residents have raised concerns about loss of health and declines in property values because of the noise the frogs create. Thus far, the frog populations and the noise have not even remotely reached their potential as a nuisance. Nurseries that export plants and cut flowers may risk the rejection of shipments if the frogs are found or suspected to be present in exported materials. Coqui frogs may also move nematode eggs from the ground to elevated growing stands, endangering a nursery’s nematode-free certification."
"The common Puerto Rican coqui, Eleutherodactylus coqui, is the most common amphibian on that island, is present there in all but the driest areas, and might be the best studied member of its genus. Its name is an onomatopoeia of its disyllabic "co-KEEE" call. After nightfall, millions of individuals ascend up the tree trunks to the canopy of mesic and hydric forests to hunt for insects and to mate. At dawn, instead of climbing down the same route, they throw themselves almost en masse from the canopy and into the void, extending their legs widely to slow their descent by means of a sort of parachuting, and landing with a wet, slapping noise on the leaves of the forest's undergrowth. E. coqui has two sister species, E. portoricensis in Puerto Rico, and E. schwartzi in the Virgin Islands. Both emit a similar call to that of E. coqui. "
"They are members of the mostly Neotropical family Leptodactylidae. Like anoles, they exploit a wide variety of structural niches, from the ground to the crowns of emergent trees in rain forests. Some specialize in cave-dwelling, others are bromediacolous (live in bromeliads). Some species inhabit holes in tree trunks, or the leaf litter of forests. Other species have adapted secondarily to a semi-aquatic life in cold mountain streams of the Greater and Lesser Antilles. None have a tadpole stage, and instead lay their eggs on land. For this they choose humid microhabitats, like spaces under rocks and rotting vegetation, the axillae of bromeliad's leaves, and even lay them exposed on the leaves of rain forest plants, as long as the atmospheric humidity is high."
" Eleuths' calls vary widely. They can be low grunts, loud barks, raspy screeches, telegraphic clicks, piercing whistles, insect-like chirps, eerie and beautifully melodious trills, as well as drawn-out, grating croaks. Antillean species range in size from the smallest amphibian in the World, the Cuban Eleutherodactylus iberia (which vies for that title with a South American frog) to the large E. zeus, also from Cuba, E. inoptatus of Hispaniola, and E. karlschmidti of Puerto Rico. Like anoles, species of Eleutherodactylus can be segregated into different ecomorphs. Unlike anoles, however, the genus has radiated unequally in each of the Greater Antilles. For example, in Jamaica, most species are terrestrial. By contrast, in Puerto Rico many have adapted to a life on trees
"With chytridiomycosis having such lethal effect elsewhere, Department of Agriculture staff thought, the fungal infection might be just the silver bullet needed to knock down Hawai`i coqui populations. Whether chytridiomycosis (pronounced kit-RID-ee-oh-my-KO-sus) can be used as a tool against the coqui is not certain at this point. In Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, and the continental United States, the disease has contributed to mass die-offs of frogs and has even resulted in the extinctions of the last known populations of two Australian frogs, Yet not all species of amphibians are vulnerable to infection by the fungus. One of the most notorious of Australia's amphibian invaders - the cane toad (introduced to Australia from Hawai`i) - has not been slowed at all by the disease in its march across the continent. Whether the coqui has similar resistance is something to be determined in lab tests"
"But what actually scares me the most about the frogs being here," Mautz says," is that they'll be food for other invading animals. . . . If we have this huge food base of frogs, it will be a paradise found for invading snakes."
"If you or your neighbor has couqi frogs, call the Department of Agriculture today
(in Hilo 974-4140).
"The greatest threat to the economy and environment of the state is from harmful invasive species like the coqui."
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Special Spanish Section
Los Coquíes de Puerto Rico
Los coquíes están representados en Puerto Rico por el género Eleutherodactylus (dedos libres) caracterizados por no tener membranas natatorias. Hay 16 diferentes especies; sin embargo, solamente hay dos especies que producen el sonido "co-quí". Todos los coquíes tienen discos o cojinetes en las puntas de los dedos de pies y manos. E. cooki Se le conoce como el guajón o "demonio de Puerto Rico". De este coquí se cuentan infinidad de historietas. Vive en las grutas y grietas entre peñones en el sureste de la isla.