Invasion of the Frogs, Grenada

As night time closes in on the Caribbean country of Grenada, the island erupts with the sounds of thousands of squeaks and croaks. The Lesser Antillean Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei) is the most common frog found throughout the eastern Caribbean including Grenada where it’s numbers have ballooned. A small to medium sized frog with an average length of 2.3 centimetres, it becomes most active during the night time and inhabits mostly moist areas such as forests and gardens. The infamous high pitched croaking is most notable from June to August which is the frogs mating season. The male frog will call to the female by whistling two distinctive notes. The call can be found all over the island and is a unique and beautiful thing to hear.

Although the Whistling Frog is an integral part of the ecological soundscape of Grenada, it has been causing trouble in recent years. Whilst it is undeniable that the frog is an admirable croaker, it is also an exceptional colonizer. The species has spread both purposely and unintentionally by humans and now occupies many non-native habitats including several Caribbean islands such as Barbados and Aruba as well as central and south America including Costa Rica and Venezuela.  Due to the frogs incredible adaptability, in many places that the species now resides the invaders have out numbered the native populations. Any invasive species may have serious implications in terms of environmental and economic harm or even impact human health. Although there is little research conducted on the impacts of the invasion of the Lesser Antillean Whistling Frog to date, it is something that should be watched closely to minimise any possible negative implications from arising.

This sound recording was taken on the island of Grenada just outside of the capital St. George during the evening when the distinct high pitched chirping sound of the frogs is at its most prominent.

 

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