Become a FrogWatch USA Volunteer: Listen to your Local Frogs

In the U.S., frogs and toads are beginning to wake up from their winter hibernation and soon we’ll be hearing the calls of spring as the amphibian breeding season begins. This a great time to become a Frog Watch USA volunteer, where you will make a commitment to monitor a local site for 3 minutes at least twice a week throughout the breeding season.

You don’t have to be an expert to become a volunteer, but you might find it helpful to attend a Frog Watch training session hosted by zoos, aquariums, and conservation organizations nationwide. Here’s a list of the upcoming training sessions:

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
March 16, 2012; 6:00-8:00 pm
March 20, 2012; 6:00-8:00 pm

Brevard Zoo
April 11, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
April 14, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
May 23, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
June 20, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
July 25, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
August 22, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm
August 25, 2012; 4:30-8:30 pm

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, Gainesville, FL
March 17, 2012

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
April 5, 2012; 6:30-8:30 pm (volunteer training)
May 3, 2012; 6:30-8:30 pm (call identification and certification)
June 7, 2012; 6:30-8:30 pm (volunteer training)
July 5, 2012; 6:30-8:30 pm (call identification and certification)
August 2, 2012; 6:30-8:30 pm (end-of-season wrap up/pot luck)

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
March 13, 2012; 5:30-9:30 pm
March 17, 2012; 1:00-5:30 pm

Monroe County Parks and Rec
March 22, 2012; 6:00-9:00 pm

Detroit Zoo
March 11, 2012; 1:00-4:00 pm
March 18, 2012; 1:00-4:00 pm

Saint Louis Zoo
March 24, 2012; 10:00 am-12:30 pm
March 28, 2012; 7:00-9:00 pm (certification)

New Jersey
Jenkinson’s Aquarium
March 21, 2012; 6:00-8:00 pm

Rhode Island
Roger Williams Park Zoo
March 24, 2012; 10:00am-12:00 pm
April 12, 2012; 6:00-8:00 pm

Chatanooga Zoo
March 31, 2012

Utah’s Hogle Zoo
March 17, 2012; 2:00-4:00pm

Virginia Zoo, March 18, 2012; 5:00pm

At a recent training session at the Lynchburg (VA) Public Library, for example, volunteers listened to the calls and then tried to connect them to a recognizable sound. Here’s one of the frog calls these volunteers tried to identify. Does the call of this Pickerel frog sound to you like a squeaky door – or like a snore?

More information:

The FrogWatch site includes a Frogs and Toads by State list and a link to the U.S. Geological Survey Frog Quiz of frog calls.


Be a FrogWatcher this summer!

This summer, consider becoming a FrogWatch USA volunteer, a Citizen Science Monitoring Program sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. Participating in this program gives YOU the opportunity to help frogs and toads by collecting information essential for protecting them.

The FrogWatch site has a map of the US that lists local frog species. It also contains information about ordering CDs with frog calls from your region, lists of books to help you identify frog species, and all you need to know to become a successful Frog Watcher. If you’ve always wanted to do animal conservation fieldwork, here’s your chance to do it in your own neighborhood—maybe even your own backyard!

This summer I’ve been doing some informal Frog Watching with my family. We counted 17 small toads on one hike in the Norvin Green State Forest in New Jersey. We also went on a hike in Minnewaska State Park near New Paltz, New York, last weekend. At the nature center there, I picked up a pamphlet about frogs and toads of New York, where I learned that the hearty trilling I heard up in a pine tree wasn’t an invisible bird. It was a tiny Grey Tree Frog with a big voice! We also saw lots of tadpoles in a pond in various stages of metamorphosis.

Wherever you are this summer, keep an eye out for the amphibians!

Gray treefrog clinging to clover. Photographed by Lisa Miller at her home in northeastern Wisconsin. Courtesy of savethefrogs.com

Gray treefrog clinging to clover. Photographed by Lisa Miller at her home in northeastern Wisconsin. Courtesy of www.savethefrogs.com