CNMI intercepts invasive frog

An invasive species of frog native to Puerto Rico was intercepted by Northern Marianas authorities at the airport.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Fish and Wildlife said the coqui frog hopped onto a Micronesia Air Cargo Services plane and was detected by a dog detector handler at the weekend.

The frog, which was introduced to Guam and Hawaii in early 2000, has since been contained and preserved in a jar and will be used by the Department for sampling and research.

The coqui frog is marked as invasive species due to the very loud "ko-kee" calls males make at night and the severe effects the species can have on a native ecosystem's insect and bug populations.

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council said the frog has no natural predators or competitors to keep populations in check.

It says the local population has reached 55,000 frogs per hectare in some areas, which is about double the numbers in their native Puerto Rico.

The council said due to a disclosure requirement for real estate transactions, this has resulted in decreased property values in some locations.


Photo SaipanTribune/Joshua Santos  Caption: Invasive species frog captured by authorities in the Northern Marianas