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3 January 2012

January 10, 2012

Woke up, showered and walked around the campground to get my bearings. It turns out we are right next to an historic Hawaiian heiau (formally Pu’ukohalo Heiau) built by King Kamehameha in the 1791 as an offering to the gods. He invited his cousin, ruler of the big island and Kamehameha’s last obstacle to ruling all the Hawaiian islands, to come to the heiau where he was promptly killed and sacrificed to the gods. It must have worked because by 1810, Kamehameha was ruler of all of Hawaii.

Ginger patch where we collect frogs near a Boy Scout Camp. Ah, the joys of working on human-associated species.

After getting settled, we started to get oriented to our study sites, We headed to Waimea where we had breakfast at the Hawaii Style Café. I had the pancakes and 2 eggs. The pancakes were HUGE. I pumped the waitress for a little information about coquies. She said she lived at the head of Waipio Valley and that she could here them from her ouse but they were not there…yet. So we rearranged our schedule to be sure and collect in Waipio. We headed to Waipio Overlook and decided to collect there and then headed into Honoka’a (after getting groceries in Waimea) where we got a cream soda and a Snapple and pumped the people there for information. They said that they had lots of coquies but they went away after the earthquake forced them to get rid of some vines on their property (replaced by a rock wall). They had returned but the daughter of the owner had tracked down the loan male and killed it. They told us the frogs had first appeared about 2002 and that they could now be found “down the road” but there were none in Honoka’a. We then left Honoka’a and headed over the Kohalas to Hawi. We stopped at the Hawi Visitor’s Center and got imformation about the coqui from people who worked there. They put us in touch with Kim Takata who was in charge of the Coqui Coalition that helps eradicate new populations of the coqui in the areas around Kohala. She said the coqui hotline gets about 2 calls per month for her area and they attempt to get rid of them before they get to be a problem.

It seems to be working because that night, we went out to Hawi and heard no frogs in spite of searching there and in a housing development she told about where there had been recent reports. We came back to Wiamea, listened through Waimea even thoug we had been told that Waimea is frog free and headed to Waipio, listening along the way. 2.6 miles south of Honoka’a, we heard coquies in ginger patches on the side of the highway adjacent to a Boy Scout camp. We stopped and started collecting even though it was not one of our scheduled collecting sites. There have been such effective control efforts on this side of the island that there are fewer populations than we thought there would be so we were glad to have a spot to collect. It took us 2 hours to collect 20 frogs so the population densities were not very high (and the thick ginger made collecting more difficult. While there, we got a visit from the local police. We explained who we were and what we were doing and they took down our information and everything was good.

Elizabeth at the Waipio Valley site (in the day time).

After the Boy Scout camp stop, we headed to Waipio but cruised slowly through Honoka’a to listen for frogs and pick out some sites to collect from the following night. When we arrive at Waipio Overlook, we walked a little down the hill to a pair of private drives where we quickly (1 hour) collected the requisite 20 frogs. I collected 16 of the 20 because I think Elizabeth was still getting her search image down, although she had done better at the Boy Scout Camp site. After that, we made a beeline for Spencer Beach Park and bed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 4:32 pm

    I know that the frogs don’t belong there, but I’m not sure how I feel about frog eradication and someone killing the one dad frog. 😦 The little guys are so cute! Glad you guys are finding what you need, though.

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