The Puerto Rican species E. Coqui is a small frog that is commonly found along islands and forests’ in Hawaii (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). The species is mainly nocturnal and lives on land. It was introduced in Hawaii through nursery plants back in the 1980’s. The nuisance caused by the loud mating calls has brought up the need to control and eradicate the frog in Hawaii. Its establishment in Hawaii has spread over the four main Hawaiian Islands where there have not been any native amphibians present (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009).
Impact of Coqui in Hawaii
The presence of E. Coqui in Hawaii has affected, negatively, the floriculture industry and residential owners largely. For instance, profits from nurseries have reduced drastically, the cost of maintaining floriculture has also increased (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). Losses in the floriculture industry are approximately 0.16 % per annum, which is equivalent to an estimated loss of $81,000 per annum (Kaiser, 2006). This has been attributed to the harsh regulations and adjustments in the real estate value caused by the increase in noise pollution (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009).
The frogs spread via the use of plant material. This is mostly through the sale of flowers and other nursery products. The nurseries that have been most affected are those that have higher populations of the E. Coqui frogs (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). Customers are less willing to purchase products that have been infested by the frogs. The management of the frogs has increased the nursery maintenance costs. According to Beard, Price, and Pitt (2009), some nurseries have been forced to close up due to the increased presence of the frogs in the nurseries and the increased costs of managing these frogs.
Property value has reduced due to the noise levels caused by the frogs. The noise levels caused by the frogs exceed the maximum allowed noise levels set by the Hawaiian laws (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). Property buyers insist on paying less where the property has a higher population of the E. Coqui frogs. According to Kaiser (2006), any official complaint of noise caused by the frog within a distance of 500m reduces the property value by 0.16% and 0.12% when the noise is between 500m and 800m. Further, Kaiser (2006) argues that if the frog invades residential properties, damage may be approximately $7.6 million.
Both private property-owners and businesses have incurred the costs of managing the spread of the frog (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). In addition, the government has also incurred the cost of managing the frogs. In 2007, public agencies used an estimated $4 million dollars to assist in the management of the frogs (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). In 2006, approximately $80 million was used to eradicate the frogs from the Hawaiian Islands (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). Frog population in one of the Islands in Hawaii has reached levels where eradication has become difficult. Efforts in this Island are being made to treat small populations of the frog to control the spread (Beard, Price, and Pitt, 2009). This has resulted to an estimated $2.8 million being used annually for detection and control. Furthermore, Beard, Price, and Pitt (2009), suggest that to reach wanted levels of detection and control, it will require an additional $6 million annually.
Kaiser, B. (2006). Economic Impacts of the E. Coqui frogs in Hawaii. Retrieved from
Karen, K. B., Price, E., & Pitt, W. (2009). Biology and Impacts of Pacific Island Invasive
Species. 5. Eleutberodactylus coqui, the Coqui Frog (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Pacific science, 63(3), 297-316.