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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 29, 2002

Poison frog found on Maui

By Tim Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

WAILUKU, Maui — Two weeks after a veiled chameleon was discovered on Maui for the first time, another alien creature has turned up.

State wildlife officials are reporting that a black-and-green poison dart frog was found hopping around Wailuku town Wednesday.

While officials said the capture of the frog native to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America is a first for Maui, the amphibians were first introduced to Hawai'i on O'ahu in 1932 for mosquito control.

The toxic secretions of the frog are not dangerous unless swallowed or rubbed into eyes. Anyone handling the frog should wash their hands.

Officials do not believe the frogs would have a serious impact on Maui's environment if they stay in developed areas. But if they venture into the forests, they could prey on insects important to pollination of native plants.

To report any sightings, Maui residents should call the state Department of Land and Natural Resources at (808) 873-3502 or the Maui Invasive Species Committee at (808) 579-2116.