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COQUÍ GUAJÓN } Eleutherodactylus cooki

RANGE: The Pandura range in southeastern Puerto Rico, west to Patillas/San Lorenzo

STATUS: Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act

THREATS: Deforestation; construction and industrial development; runoff from use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture; use of caves as garbage dumps; and fire

The coquí guajón, or Puerto Rico rock frog, is known affectionately as the “demon of Puerto Rico” for its eerie, melodious voice and ghost-like appearances. One of 17 coquí frogs known from Puerto Rico — three of which are probably extinct, and all of which are considered rare or declining — the coquí guajón is Puerto Rico’s only coquí species that dwells in caves and grotto formations. While its population trend is unknown, the frog is extremely restricted in geographical distribution, and all individual frogs are found in fewer than five locations. Accordingly, it was named “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, and it was finally granted a recovery plan and federally protected habitat after the Center for Biological Diversity took legal action to make sure the little frog doesn’t follow the fate of its likely-extinct cousins.


Photo © Luis O. Nieves