Coqui llanero treefrog. Photo credit: United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Associated Press is reporting that United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Puerto Rican coqui llanero treefrog (Eleutherodactylus juanariveroi
) as an endangered species. The tiny treefrog is about the size of a human toenail and has a high pitched frequency when communicating with other frogs that can barely be heard by the human ear. The agency has proposed to set aside more than 600 acres of wetlands in the northern portion of the island nation as the frog's critical habitat.
That habitat, now controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense, is slated for residential development. The tiny treefrog is found only in the wetlands, according to the report, and if placed on the list, any development of that area would be subject to review and approval by the government of Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Puerto Rican government has already designated the coqui llanero, one of 17 coqui species, as critically endangered and has set aside more than 1500 acres as its critical habitat.