Updated May 18, 2020
Late in the evening on May 12th, 2020 people across Maui started reacting to a video posted on Facebook of coqui frogs calling in the plants outside a large nursery in Central Maui. The notifications for the MISC Facebook page were flooding in as people sent messages, shared the video, and tagged MISC in their comments to the video on other pages. Many people also filled out the Coqui Report form on our webpage. Mahalo for all of your reports!
Early the next morning, before MISC could even start preparing to respond to the location, we learned that one of our awesome, longtime staff, Darrell Aquino, had quashed the outbreak! Darrell’s daughter, a former MISC Coqui Crew member, had seen the video on Facebook and let him know about it. Being a take-charge person, as well as an experienced MISC coqui field supervisor since 2005, Darrell went out to the location at 10:30pm on the 12th.
As all who watched the video that was shared or have heard coqui in person know, the males emit a loud two-toned call. By listening and whistling back to the frog, Darrell was able to track down and hand capture a single frog in the plants for sale outside the nursery. Additionally, Darrell learned from the local security person that the store manager captured a second frog.
Mahalo to Darrell and the nursery store manager for their quick action! The area where the frogs were found is currently quarantined – plants are not being sold from there.
Mahalo to Darrell, and the nursery store manager, for their quick action! The area where the frogs were found has been treated with citric by HDOA and is currently being monitored throughout the evenings by store staff. Nursery employees will report any additional coqui frogs to HDOA who will respond if needed
Mahalo to the Maui community for taking action and drawing attention to this incipient invasive species threat. Unfortunately, other invasive species are not as vocal. We all need to be vigilant to limit the spread of all invasive species.
You can help! Prevent the spread of invasive species on Maui
- Purchase locally-grown plants whenever possible – pest species hitchhike on cargo moving long distances.
- Inspect all new plants and landscaping materials brought on to your property.
- Isolate new plants and landscaping materials for a few days and inspect them again.
- Do a self-test to inspect for little fire ants, check out this video to learn how.
- Report MISC target invasive species
- Support funding for more inspectors and rapid response at the county and state level.