Hawaiian frog killing contest.
The Hawaii Department of Education is training students on how to capture and kill frogs. The school with the most dead frogs will be awarded iPods and XBOX 360’s for its efforts.
This frog killing spree is called the Coqui Bounty Hunter campaign, and is being promoted by the Hawaii Department of Education, USDA, University of Hawaii, and County of Hawaii. It is targeted at high schools on the east side of the Big Island, where coqui populations are well established. The students’ efforts will not significantly reduce frog numbers, but will teach these kids how to spot, catch and destroy frogs.
Coqui frogs are adored in their native Puerto Rico, where their nocturnal chirping is considered soothing and the tiny frog is the proud national symbol. In Hawaii, the sound of their chirping is new to the islands, and some people find it annoying. They kill coqui by burning them with acid or hydrated lime, freezing them or cooking them. The students are being instructed in all these methods.
Despite years of funding a “Frog War”, government funding for coqui eradication and control has been cut in 2007, and many Hawaii residents are now accepting and appreciating the coqui frog. But some frog haters are still hopping mad and want to train a new generation of Hawaii students.