Coquí llanero, tiny frog, should be endangered species, say U.S. officials

A tree frog sits on a branch in Owings, Maryland, June 8, 2005.

A teeny tiny frog the size of a toenail is under threat, and U.S. officials are trying to come to the rescue.

U.S. environmental officials are working to give the coquí llanero frog, a Puerto Rican tree frog, protection by listing it as an endangered species, the Associated Press reports.

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The coqui llanero frog is so tiny -- about 15 millimeters long -- and has a pitch so high, it's not being heard.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told AP Tuesday that it wants to designate 600 acres of wetlands in Puerto Rico as the frog's habitat. The land is currently being managed by the U.S. Department of Defense, which has tagged it for residential development, as well as the local government.

Giving the frog endangered species designation would mean the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agency must be consulted before development occurs in the area.

"The tiny coquí llanero is finally on the verge of getting the protection it so desperately needs to survive,” Jaclyn Lopez, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Critical Endangered Species Act protection can’t come too soon, with threats to the coquí’s limited habitat mounting quickly."

The agency has photos of the tiny frog on their website.

It also states that a public comment period on the proposal is open until December 12, 2011.