Hawaii Residents' Attitudes Towards the Management of an Invasive Frog Species (Eleutherodactylus coqui)

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The coqui frog Eleutherodactylus coqui was unintentionally introduced to Hawaii in the late 1980?s. Since its introduction, the frog has been discovered in four islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Island of Hawaii. Much research has been done regarding the management of the coqui frog, including evaluation of control options involving the use citric acid, hydrated lime and chytrid fungus; however, little research has been done to address the societal impacts of the coqui frogs or the attitudes of Hawaii residents and their support for various management options. A self-administered mail questionnaire was used to evaluate Hawaii residents? perceptions toward the frog and its management. (32.4% response rate, n=653). A majority (72.4%) of respondents do not enjoy the presence of the coqui frog and consider it a nuisance while others (20.1%) simply do not care about it. Residents of the Island of Hawaii and those who had been born in Hawaii State are more likely to consider the frog a nuisance and to favor the different management options compared to residents of other islands and those not born in Hawaii. Although most respondents considered it very important for the government to manage the coqui frog, support for management decreased when respondents were asked about their support for specific management methods, most of which are lethal to the frog. Using the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale, it was revealed that most respondents tended to have a proenvironmental orientation. Respondents? knowledge and proenvironmental orientation were associated with the degree of management that they would support. However, a proenvironmental orientation was not always associated with support for the management of the coqui frog. Managers may be able to use communication strategies to increase public understanding about the ecological impacts of the coqui and the implications of specific management options, appealing to Hawaii residents? proenvironmental orientation.

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