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  Population Monitoring of Coqui Frogs

Coqui frog population densities in Lava Tree State Monument (Pahoa, HI) are the highest in the state of Hawai’i (>2,000 adults per acre) and are already more than twice the densities found in their native Puerto Rico. On some nights, the frogs’ chorus in the park reaches 70 decibels – about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Decibel readings of frog calls were taken, but environmental factors seem to greatly affect frog-calling behavior; therefore, estimating frog populations by the level of sound has not been wellestablished and may require continued improvements in data collection methodology.

The T-STAR Hawai`i Coqui Frog Invasive Species Project recruited the expertise of Dr. Larry Woolbright, of Audubon International and Siena College in New York, to initiate a population monitoring study at Lava Tree State park and collect baseline ecological data. Plots measuring 20 x 20 m were surveyed on four consecutive nights; frogs in the plots were counted and measured. It is through these studies that Dr. Woolbright determined that Hawaii has much denser populations of coqui frogs compared to Puerto Rico.

Coqui frog being measured
Coqui frog being measured at Lava Tree State Monument

Photo by S. Chun, UH–CTAHR


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