Latest Hawaiian Coqui News
Study Shows Residents Enjoy Coqui Frogs: The More the Merrier!
Novermber 26th, 2014 For most of those who live with coquis, their sound becomes a welcome part of life in Hawaii‘s tropical rainforests
After years of trying to eradicate coqui frogs from their new home in Hawaii, research has just been published that exposes the myth that coquis destroy the quality of life in these previously frog-free islands.
The December, 2014 issue of the journal Biological Conservation has an article entitled, “A social–ecological systems approach to non-native species: Habituation and its effect on management of coqui frogs in Hawaii”.
BRING US YOUR FROGS: Why Frogs “Belong” in Hawaii
April 29, 2011 is International Save the Frog Day. Why save the frogs?
Besides being beautiful, fascinating, a source of medicinal substances, and essential for healthy ecosystem function, frogs are canaries in the environmental coal mine. They are sensitive to pollution and climate change. And their numbers are declining at extinction rates.
That’s bad news for the rest of us living in the coal mine. Clearly, we need to change our ways.
But change is difficult for a culture to accept. Until people are dying at the rate of frogs, nothing will alter our bad cultural behaviors.
So the next best thing to do is try saving the frogs. We may not be able to stop pesticide and herbicide use, or end the deforestation and development of wild areas, or stop all the industries and lifestyles that contribute to climate change. But we can catch frogs where they are declining and find new, healthier places for them to live.
We might not have the political and economic clout to stop multinational corporations from exploiting and altering the world’s environments. But we can help refugee species flee the destruction and avoid extinction.
There are places on the planet that can serve as sanctuaries for these refugees. One place, in particular, stands out as one of the best ?Hawaii.
If you move frogs from one place to another that already has frogs, the immigrants will compete with the natives, and you can possibly lose native frog populations. Hawaii, however, has no native frogs, or any native reptiles, amphibians, land snakes, or lizards. What better place to introduce frogs? Lots of insect pests to eat, warm and humid conditions, and few predators. If we wanted a sanctuary for endangered and threatened frogs, this is the place.
But wait. Can we just move a species from one part of the planet to another? Won’t it become invasive and cause damage?
It is this question that is keeping frogs from finding new homes. According to current trends in environmental thinking, species “belong” where they are “native”. You’re not supposed to move them to places where they “don’t belong”. When it comes to frogs, the Hawaii government has said they clearly “don’t belong”.
Of course, there are already frogs and toads in Hawaii, which were brought by environmental managers for insect control decades ago. Back then species were introduced deliberately to enhance biodiversity and provide needed environmental services, such as pest control, or to serve as a food source. The environment was seen as a garden for us to plant and inhabit as we saw fit.
That has all changed. Now the goal of managers is to kill introduced species in order to preserve and restore native ecosystems as they had existed prior to western contact centuries ago. They won’t get rid of the people, or the agriculture, or the chemical spraying, or the bulldozing, or the deforestation, or the development, or the intercontinental shipping, or the industries and energy policies that help cause climate change. It’s hard to change these aspects of the culture. But you sure can kill things that “don’t belong”.
What was called “exotic” or “immigrant” is now called “alien” or “invasive”. We have gone from an open immigration policy to a bio-xenophobia.
When coqui tree frogs accidentally arrived in Hawaii with shipments of plants from Florida or Puerto Rico, the response was ballistic. The mayor of Hawaii declared a state of emergency. Scientists feared the sky was falling, and that the coquis, which eat lots of insects, would decimate the insect population to the point of starving all other insectivorous creatures. The sound of the frogs, a two-toned “ko-KEE”, was described as a “shrill shriek” guaranteed to keep everyone awake at night, run down property values, and drive away tourists.
Ironically, this same coqui frog is the national animal of Puerto Rico, its native land. In fact, Puerto Ricans love this frog and its chirping sound so much that it is honored in local folklore. People describe the nighttime sound of the coqui as soothing and necessary for sleep, and Puerto Rican travelers often bring recordings of coquis with them when away from home to help them sleep.
Puerto Rico has numerous species of coqui frogs, many of which are now extinct or threatened. Unfortunately, frog numbers are declining because of fungal infections, development, climate change, and pesticide and herbicide use. So you can imagine how angry and upset Puerto Ricans were when Hawaii announced its Frog War to eradicate the newly arrived coquis.
Over the past 10 years, millions of dollars have been spent in Hawaii trying to kill coquis. And despite wide cost-saving cuts in government spending, there is still money to kill coquis.
At first, they tried an experiment to kill coquis with concentrated caffeine, giving the frogs a heart attack. A special emergency exemption was needed from the EPA to allow this spraying of caffeine into the environment. It’s impact on humans, pets, plants, lizards, and other non-target species was unknown, or what it would do once it entered the groundwater and flowed to the oceans. Chemical warfare suits were needed by applicators to prevent exposure to the highly dangerous caffeine, which was at concentrations 100 times that of coffee. There is no antidote for caffeine poisoning.
When the caffeine experiment proved untenable and too dangerous, citric acid was encouraged as a frogicide. Sprayers soaked the forests with acid, sometimes sprayed from helicopters, to drench the tiny frogs and burn them to death. Of course, this also killed plants and other critters, such as lizards. But since lizards are non-native, nobody in the government cared.
But citric acid is expensive. So another experiment was tried, using hydrated lime to burn the frogs. This caustic chemical can also cause irreversible eye and lung damage to people and pets on contact, so another emergency exemption was needed from the EPA to experiment with it. As it turned out, the hydrated lime didn’t work very well, and it killed lots of plants.
So the University of Hawaii experimented on developing a frog disease to unleash on the frogs. They tried a fungus to infect the frogs, the same one killing frogs elsewhere in the world. They realized the fungus might also kill the geckos, skinks, anoles, and other lizards, as well as the toads. But since none are native to Hawaii, none of the eradicators cared. In fact, destroying all the lizards and toads would be considered a plus. The coqui frogs, however, survived the fungus, so it was never released wide scale.
By now you may wonder how people can get away with this abuse of frogs. Aren’t there laws protecting animals from this type of cruelty?
There are. So to get around the laws the Hawaii legislature passed a law defining the coqui as a “pest”. Pest species are exempted from humane laws.
This moral depravity reached its zenith in 2007, with a planned Coqui Bounty Hunter contest to be held by public schools on the Big Island. Schools instructed students to kill coquis, either by burning them with acid, cooking them alive, or freezing them. The school with the most “kills” would receive a prize — the violent video games Playstation 3 and Xbox. The contest was canceled once it was pointed out to the schools that students are supposed to receive humane, not inhumane, education.
Despite the eradication attempts, the frogs spread. Actually, sometimes they spread because of these attempts, since coquis try leaving areas disturbed by spraying. An interisland quarantine on the coqui still exists, requiring all plant nurseries treat plants with hot water, proven lethal to coquis and their eggs, prior to transport to other islands. But the coquis seem to frequently survive that, too.
So here is the irony. Frogs are disappearing from everywhere in the world except in Hawaii, where the government is trying to make them disappear.
Yet, despite the endless anti-coqui propaganda, people are coming to like the little coqui frog, especially those people who have arrived to Hawaii since the advent of the coqui. To these people, the sound of Hawaii includes the coqui. To these new human immigrants, the coqui is normal, and enjoyable. They understand why the Puerto Ricans love these frogs.
If we are to save the world’s endangered and threatened frogs, and other wildlife that needs rescue from the human-damaged world, we need to change our environmental immigration policy. It doesn’t matter where a species is native, or where it “belongs”. That these species survive is what matters. And this may require finding them a new home.
This is not to suggest that we bring in species willy nilly, without thinking about the impact on local species. We need careful study to know which species can be introduced, and where. But unless we open our borders, and our hearts, to these refugee species, they will die.
We caused their problems. Their fate is in our hands.
Coquis in the Coal Mine: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Radiation, and Coqui Frogs
A few weeks ago we were being told to feel good about nuclear energy, allegedly a safe, green alternative to coal and oil. The fallout from the Japan tsunami has contaminated that dream. We have had an environmental 9/11. Everything will change.
Nuclear power plants that have had no problem up to now are suddenly suspect. And as 9/11 gave us extensive body scans for weapons, we will soon have them for radiation.
The reality has not really changed. Nuclear power plants, apart from the damaged ones in Japan, are operating as they did a few weeks ago. But our feelings about them have changed.
We humans are run by our feelings. We think of ourselves as “rational” animals. But we are more “rationalizing” than rational. We use our minds to justify our feelings.
Just a few days before the Japan disaster began, I was speaking at an environmental law conference in Eugene, Oregon about the environmental and legal problems caused by invasive species control and eradication efforts. As my poster child for invasion biology gone mad I used the Frog War conducted here in Hawaii against the coqui. I never imagined that the coqui would be connected in many ways to a disaster that was about to begin in Japan.
The first connection was the way people view living with nuclear power and coqui frogs. Would you rather have coqui frogs or a nuclear power plant in your back yard?
As it happens, if you do have a nuclear power plant in your back yard, or if you are in the path of nuclear radiation from a nuclear power plant explosion as it spreads across the planet with the winds, you would probably be better off with coquis also in your back yard.
Before I explain why this may be so, you may be wondering what’s up with the coquis in Hawaii that even makes them an issue. So for those new to Hawaii and who have missed all the anti-coqui propaganda of the past decade, here is some background.
The small tree frog is being attacked and has been officially declared a pest in Hawaii mostly because of its chirping “noise”. Meanwhile, this same frog is honored as the national animal of Puerto Rico, where it is loved for its nocturnal “serenade”. Whether noise or serenade is clearly in the ears of the beholder.
But there’s more. The coqui frog is also not native to Hawaii, and the current fashion in environmentalism is to try to restore ancient environments by removing species that have arrived since western contact. Of course, attacking a species for not being native is a biological anti-immigration policy, promoting hatred and intolerance for immigrant species. It is a type of bigotry and breeds the same negative cultural behaviors that bigotry against human immigrants brings.
The coqui frog is a perfect example of enviro-bigotry. Yes, some people don’t like the sound of coquis and may want to remove the frogs from their immediate surroundings. But a government sponsored eradication campaign?
Since the Frog War began around a decade ago, the only damage has been, not from the frogs, but from the war itself.
Everything is attitude. A field bulldozed in Waimea to kill a few coqui frogs (this actually happened) can be seen as either destruction or remediation.
Is the poisoning of 35 acres of mangroves on the Big Island and leaving them to rot along the shoreline environmental destruction or restoration?
Is releasing a biocontrol insect to attack and infest strawberry guava on hundreds of thousands of acres of private and public lands statewide natural resource destruction or native resource preservation?
Your answer depends on how you feel about coqui frogs, mangroves, strawberry guava, and how you feel about the impacts to the environment of bulldozers, poisons, pestilence.
Is a nuclear power plant a potential disaster or a green solution?
A lot of feelings were swept away this month by the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Many people feel worse about nuclear energy, but some on the Big Island now feel better about the coqui frogs and their chirping.
The reason for the new found coqui appreciation has to do with release of radiation from Japan and whether it would reach Hawaii.
How does this relate to coquis? As evacuation was ordered in Hawaii for the tsunami, people were on edge as fear gripped their minds. And in the darkness of nights following that night of sirens warning of a pending tsunami, some people were unable to sleep as they worried about nuclear fallout from the damaged power plants. And then their minds shifted to the sound of the coquis.
When I returned home many people told me they had been soothed and comforted by that coqui sound. The frogs were happy. All must be well, they thought. And they were able to go back to sleep.
Some people buy Geiger counters that chirp when there is radiation. Coqui frogs chirp when there is no radiation.
Coqui frogs, like all amphibians, are environmental health indicators. Frogs are among the first species to show impacts from pollution. If you have healthy frogs, chances are you have a healthy environment. On the other hand, you don’t want to live where there are sick, mutating, or dying frogs.
So for us in Hawaii who live with coquis, we now have a nighttime sound that tells us that our environment is healthy. We have coquis in the coal mine.
It’s the same sound as it was a few weeks ago. But now, it is a reassuring sound in a polluting world.
It all has to do with how we feel. And it seems the worse people feel about pollution and radiation, the better they may feel about coqui frogs.
So here is a reminder that we are all in this together. If a tsunami, earthquake, nuclear fallout or other disaster threatens our islands, we all suffer together. Not just people. Everything. Even the frogs.
End is near for coqui control efforts
In April the County of Hawaii will auction off 26 chemical spray rigs that originally cost up to $10,000 each.
That auction will mark the end of the county’s efforts to control coqui frogs.
Big Island family offers coqui frogs refuge
The invasive frog that has been the subject of local angst and a target for eradication may find refuge at a private residence on the Big Island.
The Singer family, who operate the Coqui Hawaiian Integration and Reeducation Project (CHIRP), run a 60 acre sanctuary for the maligned frog. The location in Puna is not unique for its coqui population (the frogs are already found almost everywhere on the islands’ east side), but rather its attitude. While most seek to rid their property of the creatures, known for the song of their evening call, the Singers embrace the chorus of the tiny frogs.
The Singers believe coqui frogs, which have thrived on the Hawaii islands since their accidental introduction from the Caribbean, are victims of calculated character defamation, and can actually be beneficial to the environment. They believe eradication is cruel, and that it is also nearly impossible.
The State Department of Agriculture sees the frog as a threat to the Hawaii environment, and is participating in a multi-agency campaign to stop the spread of the coqui in Hawaii.
Dedicated to the Coqui of Puerto Rico
This is our song, a gift for you
It’s the voice we were given, but, what do you want us to do?
To stay silent, while there is still so much noise all around?
So you would prefer to hear all the other sounds?
Of sirens, screaming and people crying in pain
Or hear voices like yours that speak only in vain
Of hatred towards a creation as beautiful as we
Yet we’ve done nothing wrong – please can’t you see
We were not brought to you by our own choice
We belong to an island in which people rejoice
As they listen to our serenade all through the night
In a world with so much wrong, let us do what is right
So please don’t kill us, don’t hurt us, just let us be
Or return us to our home where we are loved by our family
Remember, your voice may not be liked by others too
Would you like them to use your reasoning and silence you?
Just give us the chance as one night you sit by the trees
To listen to our free concert singing for you “koqui轲oqui?
Maybe then as you ponder you will come to see
Why God took the time to make us, the Coqui
by Omayra Hernandez
Here is what prompted Omayra to write the poem
It started with my search of pictures of the coqui. Among the pictures I saw a poster of an advertisement in Guam, of how they are trying to get rid of the coquis. I clicked on that link, which later led me to another link where I found horrible statements of some residents of Hawaii, saying how they are annoyed by the ‘noise’ the coqui makes and how they are working towards killing them. It broke my heart, I just can’t explain the feeling. I read some more and found how they were told they can just boil them or freeze them. Suddenly, the picture of Hawaii changed for me, I would no longer what to visit it such a place. How anyone would express themselves in such words, or want to kill in that way, just sickened me. I spread the links to friends, and I wrote my poem.
I could hardly sleep that night, and woke up still thinking about it. I searched some more on youtube and found a video of a man who lives in Hawaii, but with a positive statement towards the coqui. Then, through a ‘Bing’ search I found you, my view of Hawaii began to change. I also sent your link to some friends.
What can I say? Would Americans like it if ‘man’s best friend’, the dog, were killed just because a certain USA territory did not like their bark? The coqui is our friend. Growing up I guess I didn’t realize what the coqui really meant to me, until after having lived in the states for some years. I went back to Puerto Rico on vacation. When night time came, there it was, that familiar melody that brought back memories of feeling peace and having a good night’s sleep. With an island, a world, full of so many problems, the people of Puerto Rico atleast have something to serenade them and silence the negative noice around them.
The coqui do not survive on other soils, but they made it to Hawaii and survived. What a blessing and a curse. You have taken of your resources and time to try to protect them. On behalf of Puerto Rico and all of us who for some reason or other are living in the United States, we thank you. Please do not give up on this wonderful humane endeavor. Although my faith lies on God’s solution to this and all of mankind’s problems, what you are doing does help and shows that love, respect and kindness still exist. Gracias.
I will follow your advice and forward the poem to the editors at a later time.
Con Mucho Aprecio,
I am a Puerto Rican American who has had the privilege of living in Hawaii during my youth. My parents were stationed at Hickham AFB during the early 80’s and I remember my time in Hawaii as an endless vacation in a paradise of diversity and culture. I currently live in Caguas, Puerto Rico, about fifteen minutes south of San Juan.
In Puerto Rico, due to poor controls on development and pollution, our beloved coqui is on the decline. His song is not as strong as it once was. Our national symbol is in danger. Thank you so much for giving him a refuge and for taking him into your hearts. When I played the video you have posted on your website, I was overjoyed to hear the rich serenade in the background. Nature has a voice. She does. And she sounds very happy on your property.
El Coqui de Hawai’i
He is lost, my sweet prince
He knows not where he sings
He knows only the song
Which the firmament brings
The sharp glitter of stars
The vast cover of sky
Bring to heart his sweet song
He will never ask why
The trees’ whisper above
Makes a sound he knows well
They reach to the heavens
His song begins to swell
Coqui! He sings sweetly
From his banyan tree home
He listens with patience
But tonight he’s alone
This forest is foreign
Though the sky is the same
These rivers are not whence
My little prince came
Still he musters his pride
Never knowing his place
That he is a stranger,
Will not take him from grace
By: Reinaldo Fuentes
Caguas, Puerto Rico
A Letter to Govenor Lingle about the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the Coqui and Property Rights
Dear Govenor Lingle:
There is a problem that needs your attention relating to property rights, legal procedure, and government integrity.
You will soon be asked to sign changes to Administrative Rules allowing the Department of Agriculture to add the coqui frog to the list of “plant pests for control or eradication”. At the time of this letter, the HDOA has just closed its public hearing and comment period on this rule change, and the issue is still in review. However, I am certain that the HDOA will conclude it must list the coqui tree frog as a “plant pest”, regardless of any public comment to the contrary. In fact, public comment is irrelevant when it comes to the coqui. The reason is because the Hawaii Revised Statutes has made the coqui frog a plant pest by law.
According to HRS 141-3, Designation of pests; control or eradication of pests; emergency power: (a) The department of agriculture shall designate the coqui frog as a pest. All other pest designations shall be established by rule, including the criteria and procedures for the designation of pests for control or eradication.
This means the normal process for deciding whether or not a species is a plant pest has been subverted by the legislature when it comes to the coqui. This gives the HDOA authority to enter private property for coqui control or eradication, even against owner consent, and without the legally prescribed review process that is supposed to provide the plant pest listing with some scientific and rational validity. This makes the public comment period and public hearings a fraud, since nothing anyone says can make a difference. The coqui has been singled out as an enemy of the state by a group of misled legislators, and truth and public input be damned!
The fact is, tree frogs do no harm to plants. Nowhere in the world is any frog labeled by any government as a plant or agricultural pest. The coqui eats insects that do harm plants, making them beneficial to plants. Scientific studies by Dr. Karen Beard of Utah State University have shown there is no environmental harm caused by these frogs. As for the noise nuisance issue, animal noise is not an HDOA issue.
In my discussions with the HDOA’s Lyle Wong, I was told the coqui is being considered a plant pest because plant marketability is affected by the potential presence of coquis. However, this marketability problem is caused by public attitudes against the coqui, and is not intrinsic to the coqui itself. For those who already have coquis, or who desire them, there is no plant marketability problem. This is a human attitude problem, not a plant pest problem. Changing public perceptions of the frog can eliminate this problem.
However, given the HRS mandate that the HDOA list the coqui as a plant pest, can the HDOA conclude otherwise? Can the administrative rule changes procedure be conducted legally and properly when the conclusion is already decided by law? Clearly, the HRS mandate was not enough to list the coqui as a plant pest, or the HDOA would not have to go through the rule changes procedure it is currently doing. There must be some legal conflict. There should be. This plant pest designation is serious, with grave consequences for property owners who don’t want the government to intrude on their property to spray acid or some other poison to kill innocent, beneficial, melodious tree frogs. Are we to allow the government to infringe on property rights simply because some people get unhinged at the sound of chirping frogs? What about our freedom to enjoy the sounds of nature?
If the coqui were truly a plant pest, there would not have to be a law specifically defining them as such and insulating that definition from procedural review and public comment. This labeling the coqui a plant pest by law, without the benefit of scientific review or the normal listing process, reminds me of how the Nazis labeled the Jews. It shows hatred, prejudice, intolerance, and is a slippery slope towards further government abuses.
Clearly, the HRS needs to be changed to delete the mandate to list the coqui as a plant pest, so that the HDOA can approach the coqui issue rationally, scientifically, with proper procedure, and with an open mind. The longer this anti-coqui hysteria persists, the worse it will be for Hawaii, especially if it means the corruption of our laws and procedures, and the loss of our property rights and freedom. Please do what you can to change the relevant HRS section and oppose this corruption of the HDOA plant pest listing process.
Hawaii Department of Agriculture ‘Chirping’ Away at Our Property Hawaii will soon make history as the first government in the world to officially declare a frog to be a “plant pest” by adding coqui tree frogs to a list of plant pests designated for control or eradication. Property owners beware! This designation will give the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) the right to enter private property to kill coqui tree frogs as plant pests.
If property owners want to keep their frogs, or if they object to having their property sprayed with citric acid, hydrated lime, or other frog and environmental poisons, too bad. Coqui chirping is being declared an agricultural crisis, deserving of property rights infringement, according to the HDOA.
Everywhere else in the world frogs are considered beneficial to agriculture, since they eat insect pests. Even in Hawaii, frogs were at one time imported to control insect pests. But intolerance by some residents for the nocturnal chirping of the coqui has led to a multi-million dollar Frog War, and listing the coqui as a plant pest is the latest attempt by the HDOA to be able to kill frogs on private land without owner consent.
But calling frogs “plant pests” does not make them so. Real plant pests, such as fruit flies, aphids, and borers, damage plants or their fruit. Coqui frogs do no harm to plants, and benefit plants by eating insects that do harm, such as fruit flies, aphids, and borers. Their “crime” is their nocturnal chirping, which is merely a subjective noise nuisance issue for some people.
Subjective feelings, such as whether or not you like the sound of a chirping frog, should have no bearing on designating a species as a plant pest. And the HDOA does not deal with animal noise nuisance issues.
The HDOA is accepting comments on its proposed rule changes, including also expanding its powers to potentially add to their plant pest list any vertebrate species, or animal with a backbone. Until now, no vertebrates have been considered plant pests, and the coqui frog would be the first. But what’s next? Pigs? Birds? Lizards? Every creature that eats could be considered a plant pest, if the HDOA gets its way. And this will give them license to enter private property to get whatever they want.
Please oppose this abuse of power.
To view the proposed rule amendments, click here.
Send your comments to HDOA. firstname.lastname@example.org
SOME PEOPLE consider coqui frogs in Hawaii to be invasive aliens that threaten the environment and the quality of life. Others consider the frogs exotic immigrants who can improve the environment and quality of life in Hawaii.
Some people hate the nighttime mating song of the frogs, which keeps them awake. Others enjoy the coqui’s bird-like chirp and find that it soothes them to sleep, like the sound of crickets.
The USDA Wildlife Services have spearheaded a campaign to exterminate the frogs, and government agencies have made it a felony to knowingly transport the frogs. Others break this law deliberately to spread them.
Some want to kill the frogs. Others want to save them.
WHETHER the frogs are good or bad is a matter of opinion. But one thing seems certain: the frogs are in Hawaii and are here to stay. For some, this means war. For others, this means acceptance. We hope this website helps you better understand the coqui frogs and learn to accept, and appreciate, their presence in Hawaii. This site is presented by C.H.I.R.P, the Coqui Hawaiian Integration and Reeducation Project, a program of the Good Shepherd Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to human, animal and environmental health.
AS OF January, 2008, the coqui frogs are still under attack in Hawaii. Millions of dollars have been spent to spray the jungles with acid and caustic lime (calcium hydroxide) in order to burn the frogs to death. Some spraying has taken place using helicopters to poison the tree tops. Beautiful tropical plants have been cut down and sprayed with herbicide to eliminate coqui hiding places. Trees have been cut down, and bulldozers have cleared land, all to attack the coqui.
It takes 45 minutes to kill coquis with acid or calcium hydroxide, a painful and inhumane practice that also burns lizards, spiders, insects, birds, cats and dogs, plants, and anything else unfortunate enough to be in the spray’s path. Uncountable numbers of animals suffer sub-lethal burns that cause weeks of pain. This barbaric practice is not only cruel; it is also ineffective, and has spread the frogs. The only other methods of killing coquis, promoted by the government, are to hand-capture the frogs and put them in hot water, to cook them to death, or to put them in the freezer, to freeze them to death. No humane method of frog control is offered; and humane laws do not apply to the coquis in Hawaii, since the government in 2006 passed a law specifically defining the coqui as a “pest”; and, by Hawaii law, pests are not protected from cruelty! (This is the first time in the history of the world that a tree frog has been labeled a “pest”.)
Why has the coqui been labeled a “criminal” in Hawaii, and subjected to such tortures as being boiled or frozen or sprayed with acid? It’s not because the frogs are an environmental problem. Even a “scientific study” has shown that they are not a threat to Hawaii’s ecosystems. Click here for excerpts from an article that appeared in The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, August 28, 2005.
NO, THE REASON for the Frog War is not because the frogs are an environmental problem. It’s because of their chirping at night, which some people don’t like!