The coqui is the national symbol of Puerto Rico: a tiny, but vociferous tree frog that’s a beloved part of the Puerto Rican soundscape, lulling residents to sleep every night with the male’s lusty “croak.” But it’s a different story on the Big Island of Hawaii. Coquis showed up on the island as stowaways a few years back, and because the frog has no natural predator there, they’re proliferating like a “plague of locusts” – competing with native birds and animals for food, and leaving many angry Hawaiians sleepless in paradise. In the face of sharply declining frog populations worldwide, Long Haul talked with residents in the only place in the world that’s organizing to kill as many frogs as it possibly can.
Special thanks to Hilo band Dr. Jerky and Mr. Huge for “Bad Vacation,” their coqui-inspired song.