This species occurs on Puerto Rico, and has been introduced on to Isla Vieques and Isla Culebra, as well as to Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, St John and St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, and Hawaii and Florida in the United States. Individuals of E. coqui were introduced to New Orleans and Boston, although in New Orleans the species was never established, as introduced individuals were only males (Dundee 1991), and in Boston’s case, individuals appear to be restricted to a greenhouse at the University of Massachussetts’ grounds (Pearson 2006). It appears to have been incidentally transported to Guam, although it is not considered to have established a breeding population there (Christy et al. 2007). These instances are not mapped as part of the species' range. The species has been recorded from sea level up to the highest peak in Puerto Rico at 1,338 m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in mesic forests. Males call from elevated exposed surfaces such as leaves and tree trunks. It has also been recorded from agricultural land including plantations and arable land, and other disturbed habitats such as towns. Nests are usually found on vegetation, and it develops directly.
The lowland populations are common and should be considered "Least Concern" but apparently there has been an observed decline in the upland population in the Palo Colorado Forest, suggesting that upland populations should be listed as "Near Threatened" (Burrowes et al. 2004).
Habitat loss is a major threat to this species in particular clearance of the land for agriculture. The cause of the decline in the Palo Colorado Forest is chytridiomycosis probably linked to climate change. Rats and mongooses have been suggested as potential threats (as invasive predators) to Eleutherodactylus species in Puerto Rico (Hedges 1993), although literature on this subject is equivocal (Hedges 1993; and Thurley and Bell 1994, support the notion that these introduced species comprise threats to amphibian species, while Reagan and Waide 1996, suggest that rats are lesser predators of Eleutherodactylus coqui), and there is currently no consensus regarding the impact that these species may or may not have on amphibian declines in Puerto Rico. Future research efforts directed at investigating the impact of these invasive species on amphibian populations may help to establish their relative contribution to amphibian declines.
It occurs in all of the protected areas found in Puerto Rico. Monitoring of the disease is recommended.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern given that, although there have been some declines in montane populations (probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years), perhaps due to a combination of climate change and/or chytridiomycosis, it is an extremely abundant species, it is found in disturbed habitats, and lowland populations appear to be unaffected.
Studies addressing the taxonomic status of E. coqui (whether it is one nominal species or more than one species) are equivocal (e.g., Bird-Picó 1994, Gonser 1996, Rios-López 1999, and Veló-Anton et al. 2007).
Hedges, B., Joglar, R., Thomas, R., Powell, R. & Rios-López, N. 2008. Eleutherodactylus coqui. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T56522A136557392. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T56522A11491306.en .Downloaded on 19 February 2019