WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that a petition submitted by the Caribbean Primate Research Center, contains sufficient information to initiate a status review to decide if the Coqui llanero, a tree frog, warrants listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The llanero was discovered in 2005 and is only found in the decommissioned U.S. Naval Security Group Activity facility at Sabana Seca in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. It is characterized by a high frequency chip-like sound, a light brown skin color and a strip between the eyes. It is the smallest species of coqui.
The petition cites habitat destruction as the main threat to the survival of the species and specifically points out that a go-kart and motorbike racetrack has been built in the coqui llanero’s wetland habitat, where petroleum and rubber products leech into the soil. The petition also notes that contamination from the Toa Baja Municipal Landfill is spreading through out the coqui llanero’s habitat.
The Service seeks public comment on the status of coqui llanero and its habitat. The Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico has already added this species to its endangered species list, and has likewise designated its critical habitat.