SAN JUAN.- The frog septentrionalis, an aggressive species from Cuba and the Cayman Islands, has spread uncontrolled throughout Puerto Rico where it threatens the Caribbean island’s ecosystem and fauna, EFE reports.
Puerto Rico Natural Resources and Environment Dept. (DNEA) Wildlife Unit director Angel Atienza said even though its presence has yet to be cataloged as a pest on the island it threatens the local fauna.
He cautions that its arrival via shipments to Dominican Republic or other Caribbean islands shouldn’t be ruled out
Atienza also warned that the frog is a threat to the native ecosystem, while the fluid secreted by its glands may be harmful to humans, leading to skin rashes and cause severe vision impairment if it reaches the eyes.
He noted that there’s evidence of septentrionalis’ presence in Puerto Rico during 20 years, but has become commonplace throughout the island only recently, including residential areas.
He said the species doesn’t have a natural predator in Puerto Rico where it has upset the food chain, in detrimental to native species, especially its national symbol the coqui frog, in addition to feeding on other verities of amphibians, native lizards and scorpions.