Bobbert Cheapstein
Oct 6, 2009
There are new reports of coqui frogs on Oahu -- one frog in Waimanalo, the other in Makaha.

There's no established population of coqui frogs here on Oahu, but there are single reports here and there -- frogs that may have hitched a ride from the Big Island.

Tonight, we tagged along with the coqui frog hunters.

Here off Kumuhau Street in Waimanalo, you know you're out in the country by all the peaceful sounds of nature.

But when light turns to dark, a different sound starts up. At least it has over the past week.

"It actually sounds like his name coqui, coqui, yeah just like that," said Scot Willson, Waimanalo resident.

Not a sound they like to hear, especially when they're trying to sleep.

"I think it's right um, right inside here," said Scot Willson.

So the Willsons called in the coqui frog hunters.

Derek and Aaron are here tonight.

"Our crew has been working hard to eliminate these single calls," said Derek Arakaki, State Dept. of Agriculture.

And they're pretty confident.

"If there's a frog, we catch 100%"

Sure, we'll see, I thought.

"What we'll do is we'll just wait on the side till it starts calling, then try and track it down."

I figured we may be in for a long, long wait. But, about a minute later...


And just as Derek and Aaron were moving in, the little guy stopped his mating call.

It's all about being patient, they say.

So we waited again. Then about five minutes later...


Derek and Aaron moved in, determined to find the little fella this time.

It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, at least for the untrained eyes.

But Derek and Aaron -- they're experts at this.

"There it is! There, squeeze it! Got it, got it, got it!"

Aaron Works is a Pest Response Technician with the Oahu Invasive Species Committee.

He and Derek do this at least once a week on Oahu.

"There it is. Ok, put em in!"

Ten minutes to catch the little guy. Amazing! They make it look so easy!

"Oh my gosh, he's pretty adorable. He's upside down, he's really little that's what was making all that noise, coqui coqui, yup!"

Derek and Aaron plan to head out to Makaha later this week to investigate the first reported coqui frog in that area.