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For about one century already, the Boricua presence in Hawaii has been strong. Native workers from Boriken were taken to Hawaii to work the Del Monte pineapple plantations and remained there. A few years ago, descendants of those brought to Hawaii wanted to bring a piece of home to the Aloha State, so they had plants and trees shipped over from Boriken. Little did they know that in that dirt, in those leaves, families of our beautiful koki were there with egg clutches. The koki is known to die once taken out of Boriken, and that's the reason why the koki is so uniquely Boricua. Surprisingly, these kokies not only survived their 6,000 mile journey, they thrived and reproduced in Hawaii!!!

Authorities in Hawaii, under the Indigenous Species Procection Act, has declared the koki a foreign species that must be eliminated. This is obviously NOT the view of the Natives of Hawaii, who know of the koki from the Tainos living among them. Many Tainos and many people in general who know of this happening want to know what it is that Hawaii has that gives the koki what it needs to survive 6,000 miles away from its' homeland, while it dies in the islands neighboring Boriken. Unfortunately, Hawaiian State Authorities don't see it that way. They look at the koki as a pest. Tourists in hotels have complained of the koki's singing in the night as a disturbance. Native Islanders and Tainos alike see this as a sign and as a miracle. Some elders have even seen the prosecution of the koki in Hawaii as a sign of what Natives STILL have to face ahead; an enemy who wants them erradicated. While the delicate balance of nature is important to the protection of the Hawaiian eco-system, how can this beautiful inoffensive creature be harmful??? They are really out to exterminate them without finding out what makes them tick in Hawaii. Should they be allowed to do so without investigating???

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This video is sad and disturbing. Look how blindly those people set out to kill them!!! Thanks for bringing this video to light !!!
I would like to Know what environmentalists think about the spraying of a lime agent to kill the Cokis

Does it harm other species on the island ?

They are complaining that the "noise" is harming their quality of life

Also they are saying the cokis are eating the insects that their native birds eat

Are the Native Hawaians overeacting ?

What studies have been done ?
Actually as of late, NO EVIDENCE exists that the koki is causing harm to the environment. I've talked to many Native Hawaiians who tell me they don't really have a problem with it. It's the "Outsiders" that do!!! How come I'm not surprised?!?!
Taino Ti, guatiaos!

I worked in a call center and had the pleasure of speaking with a Native Hawaiian who was opposed to the presence of the Coki' on his islands. Needless to say, the conversation deteriorated from there with the man speaking his mind and I needing to keep my opinions "civil". ) :-S

There is definitely an environmental impact by the presence of the Coki in Hawaii, I only wonder if the impact is completely negative. Is their presence damaging any other species? Is the food supply enough for birds and frogs? Like Ray said, I would like to see studies done by an independent agency on both the coki's impact on hawaiian environment as well as why our little brother has thrived there when just a hop over the mona passage would have killed it before.

I know that not everyone can handle the singing and because of this the hawaiian tourism will be affected. But income cannot be a good enough reason to destroy living creatures...

I was also suprised to find our little friend so far from home and THRIVING! I was even more so distrurbed when I became aware of this issue (exterminating the koqui) many years ago. There is a program in the state I am now visiting in which people volunteer to go out and kill English Ivy plants that are choking the rivers and trees and killing off native plants. I do not know if the koqui has upset the balance of Hawaii that way, I believe the concern is the ´terrible noise´that some have complained about. I can not imagine that the song of the koqui would be considered a terrible noise! Having suffered from many episodes of mosquito borne illnesses (my children as well) I have to say that any creature that eats mosquitos is a friend of mine.
Taino Ti Community

I found a website dedicated to the protection of the Cokis in Hawaii

I urge all ICN Members to check it out

click here

They also say the Coki is not harming the environment

Big Island family offers coqui frogs refuge

The invasive frog that has been the subject of local angst and a target for eradication may find refuge at a private residence on the Big Island.

The Singer family, who operate the Coqui Hawaiian Integration and Reeducation Project (CHIRP), run a 60 acre sanctuary for the maligned frog. The location in Puna is not unique for its coqui population (the frogs are already found almost everywhere on the islands' east side), but rather its attitude. While most seek to rid their property of the creatures, known for the song of their evening call, the Singers embrace the chorus of the tiny frogs.

The Singers believe coqui frogs, which have thrived on the Hawaii islands since their accidental introduction from the Caribbean, are victims of calculated character defamation, and can actually be beneficial to the environment. They believe eradication is cruel, and that it is also nearly impossible.

The State Department of Agriculture sees the frog as a threat to the Hawaii environment, and is participating in a multi-agency campaign to stop the spread of the coqui in Hawaii.

CLICK HERE to see the video.


I am a Puerto Rican American who has had the privilege of living in Hawaii during my youth. My parents were stationed at Hickham AFB during the early 80's and I remember my time in Hawaii as an endless vacation in a paradise of diversity and culture. I currently live in Caguas, Puerto Rico, about fifteen minutes south of San Juan.

In Puerto Rico, due to poor controls on development and pollution, our beloved coqui is on the decline. His song is not as strong as it once was. Our national symbol is in danger. Thank you so much for giving him a refuge and for taking him into your hearts. When I played the video you have posted on your website, I was overjoyed to hear the rich serenade in the background. Nature has a voice. She does. And she sounds very happy on your property.

El Coqui de Hawai'i

He is lost, my sweet prince
He knows not where he sings
He knows only the song
Which the firmament brings

The sharp glitter of stars
The vast cover of sky
Bring to heart his sweet song
He will never ask why

The trees' whisper above
Makes a sound he knows well
They reach to the heavens
His song begins to swell

Coqui! He sings sweetly
From his banyan tree home
He listens with patience
But tonight he's alone

This forest is foreign
Though the sky is the same
These rivers are not whence
My little prince came

Still he musters his pride
Never knowing his place
That he is a stranger,
Will not take him from grace

By: Reinaldo Fuentes
Caguas, Puerto Rico


A Letter to Govenor Lingle about the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the Coqui and Property Rights

Dear Govenor Lingle:

There is a problem that needs your attention relating to property rights, legal procedure, and government integrity.

You will soon be asked to sign changes to Administrative Rules allowing the Department of Agriculture to add the coqui frog to the list of "plant pests for control or eradication". At the time of this letter, the HDOA has just closed its public hearing and comment period on this rule change, and the issue is still in review. However, I am certain that the HDOA will conclude it must list the coqui tree frog as a "plant pest", regardless of any public comment to the contrary. In fact, public comment is irrelevant when it comes to the coqui. The reason is because the Hawaii Revised Statutes has made the coqui frog a plant pest by law.

According to HRS 141-3, Designation of pests; control or eradication of pests; emergency power: (a) The department of agriculture shall designate the coqui frog as a pest. All other pest designations shall be established by rule, including the criteria and procedures for the designation of pests for control or eradication.

This means the normal process for deciding whether or not a species is a plant pest has been subverted by the legislature when it comes to the coqui. This gives the HDOA authority to enter private property for coqui control or eradication, even against owner consent, and without the legally prescribed review process that is supposed to provide the plant pest listing with some scientific and rational validity. This makes the public comment period and public hearings a fraud, since nothing anyone says can make a difference. The coqui has been singled out as an enemy of the state by a group of misled legislators, and truth and public input be damned!

The fact is, tree frogs do no harm to plants. Nowhere in the world is any frog labeled by any government as a plant or agricultural pest. The coqui eats insects that do harm plants, making them beneficial to plants. Scientific studies by Dr. Karen Beard of Utah State University have shown there is no environmental harm caused by these frogs. As for the noise nuisance issue, animal noise is not an HDOA issue.

In my discussions with the HDOA's Lyle Wong, I was told the coqui is being considered a plant pest because plant marketability is affected by the potential presence of coquis. However, this marketability problem is caused by public attitudes against the coqui, and is not intrinsic to the coqui itself. For those who already have coquis, or who desire them, there is no plant marketability problem. This is a human attitude problem, not a plant pest problem. Changing public perceptions of the frog can eliminate this problem.

However, given the HRS mandate that the HDOA list the coqui as a plant pest, can the HDOA conclude otherwise? Can the administrative rule changes procedure be conducted legally and properly when the conclusion is already decided by law? Clearly, the HRS mandate was not enough to list the coqui as a plant pest, or the HDOA would not have to go through the rule changes procedure it is currently doing. There must be some legal conflict. There should be. This plant pest designation is serious, with grave consequences for property owners who don't want the government to intrude on their property to spray acid or some other poison to kill innocent, beneficial, melodious tree frogs. Are we to allow the government to infringe on property rights simply because some people get unhinged at the sound of chirping frogs? What about our freedom to enjoy the sounds of nature?

If the coqui were truly a plant pest, there would not have to be a law specifically defining them as such and insulating that definition from procedural review and public comment. This labeling the coqui a plant pest by law, without the benefit of scientific review or the normal listing process, reminds me of how the Nazis labeled the Jews. It shows hatred, prejudice, intolerance, and is a slippery slope towards further government abuses.

Clearly, the HRS needs to be changed to delete the mandate to list the coqui as a plant pest, so that the HDOA can approach the coqui issue rationally, scientifically, with proper procedure, and with an open mind. The longer this anti-coqui hysteria persists, the worse it will be for Hawaii, especially if it means the corruption of our laws and procedures, and the loss of our property rights and freedom. Please do what you can to change the relevant HRS section and oppose this corruption of the HDOA plant pest listing process.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture 'Chirping' Away at Our Property
Hawaii will soon make history as the first government in the world to officially declare a frog to be a "plant pest" by adding coqui tree frogs to a list of plant pests designated for control or eradication. Property owners beware! This designation will give the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) the right to enter private property to kill coqui tree frogs as plant pests.

If property owners want to keep their frogs, or if they object to having their property sprayed with citric acid, hydrated lime, or other frog and environmental poisons, too bad. Coqui chirping is being declared an agricultural crisis, deserving of property rights infringement, according to the HDOA.

Everywhere else in the world frogs are considered beneficial to agriculture, since they eat insect pests. Even in Hawaii, frogs were at one time imported to control insect pests. But intolerance by some residents for the nocturnal chirping of the coqui has led to a multi-million dollar Frog War, and listing the coqui as a plant pest is the latest attempt by the HDOA to be able to kill frogs on private land without owner consent.

But calling frogs "plant pests" does not make them so. Real plant pests, such as fruit flies, aphids, and borers, damage plants or their fruit. Coqui frogs do no harm to plants, and benefit plants by eating insects that do harm, such as fruit flies, aphids, and borers. Their "crime" is their nocturnal chirping, which is merely a subjective noise nuisance issue for some people.

Subjective feelings, such as whether or not you like the sound of a chirping frog, should have no bearing on designating a species as a plant pest. And the HDOA does not deal with animal noise nuisance issues.

The HDOA is accepting comments on its proposed rule changes, including also expanding its powers to potentially add to their plant pest list any vertebrate species, or animal with a backbone. Until now, no vertebrates have been considered plant pests, and the coqui frog would be the first. But what's next? Pigs? Birds? Lizards? Every creature that eats could be considered a plant pest, if the HDOA gets its way. And this will give them license to enter private property to get whatever they want.

Please oppose this abuse of power.

To view the proposed rule amendments, click here.

Send your comments to HDOA.


SOME PEOPLE consider coqui frogs in Hawaii to be invasive aliens that threaten the environment and the quality of life. Others consider the frogs exotic immigrants who can improve the environment and quality of life in Hawaii.

Some people hate the nighttime mating song of the frogs, which keeps them awake. Others enjoy the coqui's bird-like chirp and find that it soothes them to sleep, like the sound of crickets.

The USDA Wildlife Services have spearheaded a campaign to exterminate the frogs, and government agencies have made it a felony to knowingly transport the frogs. Others break this law deliberately to spread them. CLICK HERE to read our CHIRP policy on this....

Some want to kill the frogs. Others want to save them.

Order the book
WHETHER the frogs are good or bad is a matter of opinion. But one thing seems certain: the frogs are in Hawaii and are here to stay. For some, this means war. For others, this means acceptance.

We hope this website helps you better understand the coqui frogs and learn to accept, and appreciate, their presence in Hawaii.

This site is presented by C.H.I.R.P, the Coqui Hawaiian Integration and Reeducation Project, a program of the Good Shepherd Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to human, animal and environmental health.


AS OF January, 2008, the coqui frogs are still under attack in Hawaii. Millions of dollars have been spent to spray the jungles with acid and caustic lime (calcium hydroxide) in order to burn the frogs to death. Some spraying has taken place using helicopters to poison the tree tops. Beautiful tropical plants have been cut down and sprayed with herbicide to eliminate coqui hiding places. Trees have been cut down, and bulldozers have cleared land, all to attack the coqui.

It takes 45 minutes to kill coquis with acid or calcium hydroxide, a painful and inhumane practice that also burns lizards, spiders, insects, birds, cats and dogs, plants, and anything else unfortunate enough to be in the spray's path. Uncountable numbers of animals suffer sub-lethal burns that cause weeks of pain. This barbaric practice is not only cruel; it is also ineffective, and has spread the frogs. The only other methods of killing coquis, promoted by the government, are to hand-capture the frogs and put them in hot water, to cook them to death, or to put them in the freezer, to freeze them to death. No humane method of frog control is offered; and humane laws do not apply to the coquis in Hawaii, since the government in 2006 passed a law specifically defining the coqui as a "pest"; and, by Hawaii law, pests are not protected from cruelty! (This is the first time in the history of the world that a tree frog has been labeled a "pest".)

Why has the coqui been labeled a "criminal" in Hawaii, and subjected to such tortures as being boiled or frozen or sprayed with acid? It's not because the frogs are an environmental problem. Even a "scientific study" has shown that they are not a threat to Hawaii's ecosystems. Click here for excerpts from an article that appeared in The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, August 28, 2005.

NO, THE REASON for the Frog War is not because the frogs are an environmental problem. It's because of their chirping at night, which some people don't like!

>> READ MORE about our "Place of Refuge"
(Pu'uhonua) for the embattled coquis >> Comment by TAINO 23 hours ago Delete Comment Frog Wars & The Deadly Caffeine Experiment!

The State of Hawaii's Response
The Federal Government's Response

The Frog War threatens the environment as exterminators poison the land and water with the experimental use of concentrated caffeine. The caffeine used is 100 times more concentrated than in a cup of coffee, and can burn the skin. It is supposed to kill the frogs by giving them a heart attack.

Application of the caffeine requires chemical warfare-type clothing protection for applicators, since it is so dangerous. To test caffeine’s effect on the frogs, the environment, and human health, 200 pounds of caffeine are to be applied 6 times a year for every acre treated. Caffeine residues will coat plants and the ground and remain a threat to anything that touches it. It is not known how long the residue will last, but people will be allowed in sprayed sites after 24 hours of spraying. Its use as a pesticide has never before been tried. And the impact of the caffeine spraying on non-target animals, including humans, is part of the experiment, making this a form of human experimentation without informed consent.

There is no antidote for caffeine poisoning, which could be fatal. Since many people already consume large amounts of caffeine in soft drinks, coffee and tea, the added exposure to residues of caffeine sprayed against the frogs could quickly lead to toxic levels in the bloodstream, particularly for children and small pets.

Caffeine is known to pose a serious health threat to pregnant women, toddlers, children on asthma and psychiatric medications, adults with high blood pressure or circulatory disease, and others who may suffer from caffeine’s strong vaso-constrictive effects. Caffeine is also a known mutagen, creating genetic mutations in bacteria, plants, animals, and birth defects in humans. Caffeine is stable in the environment, and has become a serious contaminant of the Puget Sound and other areas throughout the U.S. It could contaminate Hawaii’s groundwater and coastal waters, as well. This makes the Frog War a major threat to the health of humans, animals, and the environment, and it could take years to see the full impact of the damage caused, since mutations take time to become apparent.

The Frog War also threatens the economy, as nurseries must bear the burden of the frog quarantine. Controlling frogs at nurseries is extremely costly and impractical, and could destroy the plants that are treated for frogs. Meanwhile, there has been no concern on the Mainland about the frogs or the import of Hawaiian agricultural products that might contain frogs or their eggs. So the Hawaii Department of Agriculture is creating economic problems in Hawaii by its frog quarantine.

Ironically, the exterminators at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture admit that they cannot get rid of all the frogs, especially on the Big Island and Maui, but simply hope to control their numbers, which will require continuous spraying. While they are considering alternatives to dangerous caffeine, such as hydrated lime that dries up the frogs, no method of killing frogs has been shown effective and safe for the environment or plants. In fact, nowhere in the world has anyone before tried to kill tree frogs, making this Frog War a total experiment with frogs, the environment, and the public.

Meanwhile, to justify killing frogs, the USDA, U.S. Department of Fish and Game, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Hawaii Department of Agriculture, along with other agencies and individuals invested in receiving Federal money for invasive species control, have been propagandizing the public to hate the frogs. They warn about impending environmental damage, and tell people to expect sleepless nights from the frogs’ “noise”, which is compared to the sound of a lawn mower and table saw.

Why the hype against the frogs? If the frogs are considered an invasive pest, there can be Federal money available for invasive species eradication. And exterminators want millions of dollars for this project, which has no end in sight. This means this is not frog eradication, but ongoing control. And it will be a bottomless money pit, serving only the financial interests of exterminators.

Of course, this is more than a frog war. This is frog fraud.

The threat is not the frogs, but those who want to poison the environment to eliminate the frogs. They do not mind killing animals or plants, or endangering human health. They don’t mind poisoning all the Hawaiian Island.

These are the creators of the Frog War. They must be stopped before they once again prove that humans are the most invasive species in Hawaii, and pose the greatest threat to the environment and the health of its citizens.
you can not send the coqui home
the destruction of land and ¨¨development¨¨ has caused so much damage to the habitat that the song i once heard, walking through the mountains in the night with coqui jumping at my feet, no longer is sustainable for the coqui. as long as we continue to sell off and ¨¨develop¨¨ the land, there will be a continued loss of species... we have lost three coqui in the past 20 years. there are not enough puerto ricans who care enough about native species and are educatated and dedicated enough to fight for those species in comparison to the numbers of people who value high rise million dollar apartments being built on our western beaches over our native species.

the values of consumersism (walmarts, Sam´s culb and burgerking all over the island), values of the conqueror, have overcome the values of the original inhabitants of borinken. until the people of borinken stand up and fight for borinken, we can say goodbye to the reefs, the coqui, the aves, plants and the original landscape.

dont believe me??

drive through the central mountains and tell me how many american fast food restraunts are there and then count how many mountain tops have been removed in favor of a gas station or mini mall.

who´s values are being supported???
Thats really sad Carrie

I thought there was an evironmental movement on the island

and then tackle their environmental problems

Puerto Rico needs to recognize its Taino Indians

I was talking to my friend Kacian who lives in Juana Diaz and a coki was singing outside his window
i am in the pacific northwest at this time
when i call home, i can tell where my friends are on the island yb the song of the coqui, (central mountains, close to the sea)
it always makes me cry
i cant wait to go home
link on coki refuge

click here


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