Coqui-Free Waimea and neighborhood volunteers worked recently at Mud Lane next to the Mamalahoa Highway along the agricultural ditch that runs under the highway into Lakeland, spraying for coqui frogs. CFW members say the area has become infested possibly because there is a bus stop at the intersection, giving hitchhiking frogs a drop-off place. (COURTESY PHOTO BY JONATHAN RAWLE)
As part of the effort to spread the word about the possibilities of coqui control, Coqui-Free Waimea volunteer Kathy Rawle recently met with residents of Honalo and Kainaliu. Organized by Nancy Redfeather, organic farmer and school-garden advocate, the meeting at Kaya’s Café attracted more than 25 people.
Rawle’s presentation, adapted from one developed by Raymond McGuire, former vertebrate-control officer for the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, emphasized that “maintenance, rather than eradication” of the invasive frog is a realistic goal.
“It’s the price we pay for living in paradise,” Rawle said. “Hawaii’s ecosystem is fragile, and coqui frogs are disrupting the balance of nature—in addition to driving us crazy with their noise. It’s up to us to work to maintain that balance.”
Attendees at the meeting, including members of Keep Kona Quiet and the Kaloko coqui group, shared techniques and experiences in this effort. Although the only substance approved for coqui control is citric acid, one audience member noted that he regularly treats his property with hydrated lime to “sweeten the soil—any frogs it bothers is just frosting on the cake.”
The group planned a spraying event for the following weekend using a 400-gallon tank similar to the one on loan to Coqui-Free Waimea from the county. Meanwhile, Coqui-Free Waimea planned an event to train volunteers to use the large tank, which requires more people to run than the organization’s other tanks.
In Waimea, CFW held hunting/spraying events behind Punana Leo School and on Nani Waimea, while neighborhood groups worked on Puu Nani and Hohola Drive, Mud Lane, Lakeland and Vacationland. Frogs were reported and removed from properties in Kamuela View Estates, along Kawaihae Road near Waiaka, on Iokua and in the Merriman’s parking lot.
Coqui-Free Waimea is a volunteer group that helps neighborhoods to locate and eliminate frogs. Call 885-FROG to report frogs in Waimea and to help. Send tax-deductible donations made out to The Kohala Center with “Coqui-Free Waimea” on the memo line to P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, HI 96743. “Like” us on Facebook. For more information, visit coquifreewaimea.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.