Posted by: Kirsten | Sunday, 13 January 2008

Think Globally, Act Locally with Frogwatch USA

From the National Wildlife Federation website…

Pine Barrens Tree FrogFrogwatch USA is a frog and toad monitoring program that gives YOU the opportunity to help scientists conserve amphibians! With as little as 20 minutes a week you can collect essential information to protect frogs and toads.

This long-term amphibian study, managed by the National Wildlife Federation in partnership with the United States Geological Survey, will increase awareness of amphibian decline and will give you the opportunity to be directly involved in gathering information that can ultimately lead to practical and workable ways to help stop the decline of these important species.

Anyone can volunteer! You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to make a contribution; all you need is an interest in frogs and toads.

I highly recommend this to anyone who lives within hopping distance of a creek, marsh, river, lake, tree, or anywhere else you might find frogs and toads in your area.  This is a great way to schedule a short outing with the kids once per week.

My son and I participated in FrogWatch USA a few years ago when we lived really close to a great pond with plenty of surrounding wetlands.  It’s really easy to do even for some of the younger kids (6 and up), because all you need to do is listen and record your observances.  After each count, we’d then head out with our flashlights to see if we could spot them sing, croak, belch, or chirp (hey, they all sounded a little different). 

I gotta tell you — if you’ve never watched a frog sing close up, seeing their throats bulge out was an amazing sight, and the amount of sound that one of those tiny critters can crank out is simply incredible! If you decide to participate — a little advice.  Be sure to choose an area away from road noise if possible. Our pond was full of frogs and toads but the constant traffic made them difficult to hear.

The spring peepers will be out before you know it!  Check out the FrogWatch USA website and plan to be a part of the team for 2008.

Parke Diem!
— Jon


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