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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hee makes noise about coqui frogs in Waimanalo

Advertiser Staff

State Sen. Clayton Hee began a press conference at the state Capitol today to the sounds of a chorus of coqui frogs.
“Can you hear me when I talk?” Hee said, his voice barely audible beneath frog sounds recently recorded in Waimänalo.

Hee’s point was that the tiny noisemakers have returned to Waimänalo where, he said, they are mounting a “second invasion” and pose a threat to the nursery owners that depend on potted plant sales. The movement of potted plants is associated with the spread of the coqui frog, an invasive species with no natural predators here.
Meanwhile, efforts to prevent the spread of coqui frogs have been thwarted by recent reductions in the ranks of Agriculture Department inspectors due to state budget cuts, Hee said.
Legislative bills aimed at restoring the money to pay for additional agriculture inspectors will be heard next week, Hee said.
For more on this story, see tomorrow’s Honolulu Advertiser.