Panic In Paridise Removal Of A living thing from AN Ecosystem

Question: What Would Happed With The Removal Of One Kind Of Living Thing From Your

Ecosystem?

By: Gabriella Raney

Panic In Paradise

When I say the word “Hawaii”, what comes to mind? Perhaps, a beachy getaway. What about a tropical paradise? I personally love the thought of going out to the beach everyday. Well for the Native Hawaiians, the beautiful scenery and luxurious beaches can’t keep their minds off a simple little coquis frog. Hawaii is made up of a bunch of small islands close together. There are many trees known as palm trees. Hawaii is surrounded by water, hence the name Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is a terrestrial ecosystem (it means that the ecosystem is on land). The coqui frog is invasive and pretty much known as a pest. Invasive means that this frog does not originally come here, it was brought over and took over the islands. What would happen if the coqui frog was removed? How would it affect the relationships upon the food chain? Would certain animals and plants thrive or die without the coqui frog?

Roles In The Ecosystem

First off, this frog isn’t even native to Hawaii. It was actually brought over by accident on a cargo, taking plants to Oahu, Hawaii. 90% of the animals and plants in Hawaii are only able to be found in Hawaii. Some of these animals include, The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Hawaiian Hoary Bat, and The Feral Wallaby. The other 10% of Hawaiian WIldlife is not native to here or is able to be found elsewhere. Some of the invasive species include the coqui frog which came here from Puerto Rico. There is a legend that Puerto Rico’s beloved frog, the coqui frog, will die of sadness if taken of Puerto Rico’s beloved island. However, the Hawaiians think otherwise. According to the text, “HAWAII'S HATED FROGS”, a cargo was bringing some plants over, and an unwelcome guest came in to the islands. This frog known as coquis, beloved to the natives of Puerto Rico, was not so much as welcomed in the Hawaiian Islands. Being a consumer with no natural predators to this frog, the coqui quickly took over Hawaii.

Relationships Among Living Things

The coqui frog is predator. It eats things like mosquitoes and tiny bugs. So this makes the coqui frog a predator because one eats,(the coqui frog) while one is killed( the tiny bug or mosquito ). This is important to the ecosystem because without the coqui frog, there would be a humongous over population of the insects that the coqui frog eats, because no other animals eat them. The Hawaiians have a problem with the coqui frog now. Do they want a millions of little insects, instead? So back to the point, these predators help keep their prey (insects) population down. Without this invasive predator, the Hawaiian islands would be crawling with insects and the Hawaiians may want to reconsider the way they think of these frogs. With multiple mosquitoes around, the insects would carry disease, making it a problem for humans. In conclusion, this frog is an important little predator, by keeping the insect population down.

Food Chain

The coqui frog eats something called Fungus Gnat. Then the frog is eaten by something called a Tailless Whip Scorpion. The Tailless Whip Scorpion is Eaten by a Puerto Rican Tarantula. That is eaten by the Tarantula Hawk Wasp. This seems that the Hawaiian ecosystem is pretty balanced with these frogs. Right? Wrong. Notice when I was listing the contents of this food chain two of the animals have Puerto Rican in them. Does this mean that more invasive species from Puerto Rico have invaded Hawaii? No. Actually, this food chain is for the frog, but only when its in its natural habitat, Puerto Rico. While if we're talking Hawaii, the ecosystem is not that balanced you see. Specifically, the coqui frog actually has no natural predators. It is at the top of the food chain in most places in Hawaii's ecosystem. This happens because of its few predators overall in hawaii. The food chain in Hawaii only leaves the coqui frog with one natural predator/ no predator at all. This predator's prey are mosquitoes and termites. As you can see, the food chain in Puerto Rico, leaves a balanced ecosystem, while the Hawaiian ecosystem leaves the coqui frog thriving to do lack of natural predator.

The Removal of One Living Thing

In conclusion, this frog is a bother to the Hawaiians, although they must think about what would happen if they did get rid of it. The animals that ate it might die of hunger, while the animals it ate will thrive with overpopulation, and no predators. So in the end, I can say, with the removal of one thing from an ecosystem will affect the ecosystem tremendously. Weather it be from, animals thriving with no predator, or animals dying with nothing to eat. For example, the mosquito, which the coqui eats would thrive. Seeing that the mosquito is a parasite, it could spread disease and more. This would harm humans and more. Also, some big birds that eat the coqui frog will have nothing to eat and probably soon die. The plants that the animals ate world overpopulate the area and soon would take over the ecosystem with nothing to eat them. As the food chain would be affected, it would not be the only thing affected. The food web that the food chain was in would also be affected with overpopulation and endangerment with animals dying off fast and animals population rising up fast. As you can see, you cannot just remove something from an ecosystem without having serious animal problems along the way and the ecosystem becoming way out of whack.

Credits:

Created with images by paul bica - "road to hana" • chrishawaii - "sunset hawaii beach" • paul bica - "napali" • mdkidder - "palms hawaii kawaii" • paul bica - "unrest" • paul bica - "napali" • chrishawaii - "sunset hawaii beach"

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