WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A group fighting invasive species on the Hawaiian island of Maui wants to expand its efforts to eradicate shell frogs near a popular surf spot before the animals spread.
The Maui Invasive Species Committee is considering either recruiting community volunteers to tackle the coqui near Peahi on Maui’s North Shore or hiring a nonprofit company to do the job, reported Monday The Maui News.
Peahi is a potential hotspot for “hitchhiking coquis” to jump on cars and other materials, like plants, and be transported to other parts of Maui, said coordinator Susan Frett. oversight of the committee’s community coquis at a public meeting of the Haiku Community Association.
The committee eliminated nearly two dozen populations of coqui frogs on Maui, but nine active sites remain.
The voluntary approach would require six to twelve community members to work once a week. The committee would provide them with premixed citric acid, spraying equipment and supplies.
The other option would be to hire a temporary crew from the nonprofit American Conservation Experience, which would cost around $125,000. Funding could come from grants or donations, Frett said.
Coqui frogs are beloved in their native Puerto Rico, but they are an invasive species in Hawaii where they have no natural predators.
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