Two coqui frogs were captured on Oahu this month, one in Waikiki and one in Kalihi Valley, state Department of Agriculture officials said Wednesday.
One frog was found April 12 at a Waikiki hotel and the other near a house in Kalihi Valley on April 17, according to a department news release.
The frog at the hotel was captured by a grounds crew worker in newly planted landscaping, department officials said. The worker contacted agricultural inspectors who caught the frog. Inspectors are following up with the company that did the landscaping at the hotel, officials said.
In Kalihi Valley, a neighbor called the department about the coqui frog. When inspectors arrived, the property owners said they had heard the frog for months but didn’t notify authorities, according the department.
Agricultural department officials said they are concerned that in both incidents there was a reluctance to contact authorities.
The hotel was concerned about negative publicity so their crews sought to catch the frog themselves, department officials said, while the Kalihi Valley homeowners knew there was a coqui frog on their property but did not call authorities.
“Our crews have developed successful strategies in capturing coqui frogs and have been able to eradicate them on Oahu,” said Neil Reimer, acting administrator of the Plant Industry Division. “People should not try to capture the frogs themselves because they may cause the frogs to scatter and widen the infestation area or make the coqui skittish and more difficult to capture.”
Suspected invasive species should be reported immediately to the state’s toll-free pest hotline at 643-7378, officials said.