Citizen watchdogs were out Wednesday night listening for coqui frogs and reporting what they heard to the Oahu Invasive Species Committee by using the City and County’s new Honolulu 311 smartphone app and by email.
A total of 133 residents participated in the event from across the island, with the majority, 69 percent, reporting by using the Honolulu 311 app.
Out of all the reports that came in, 68 percent were from citizens reporting that they did not hear any "ko-KEE" calls of the coqui frog in their area.
A number of residents said they saw frogs that the Oahu Invasive Species Committee identified as greenhouse frogs from photos sent in with the reports. The greenhouse frog is another accidentally introduced frog that is now widespread on Oahu and looks and sounds different from a coqui frog; it is relatively smaller, less than one-inch-long, and has a softer chirping or cricket-like sound.
Twelve reports that came in require further investigation and the Oahu Invasive Species Committee is following up on them to determine if there are coqui frogs at those locations.
The Oahu Invasive Species Committee said it is extremely pleased with the response from the public and the performance of the Honolulu 311 app as a new way to quickly and easily report coqui frogs from any location on Oahu.
We have already been successful in preventing coqui frogs from establishing on Oahu, nearly 20 years after they first gained a foothold on the Big Island and became interisland hitchhikers, but keeping Oahu coqui-free will require an ongoing effort.
The Oahu Invasive Species Committee asks all Oahu residents to remain vigilant and immediately report if they hear coqui frogs.