Friday, August 7, 2009
Website of the Week: FrogWatch USA™
Do you like frogs? Enjoy studying wildlife? Then join FrogWatch USA™, "a Citizen Science Monitoring Program" currently hosted through the National Wildlife Federation but soon to be part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Frogwatching season generally runs February through August. Once you learn how to frogwatch and register your study site (hey, I'm thinking maybe I could register my backyard next year!), you gather your frogwatching materials, record your data (weather conditions and frog calls) and submit it on a regular basis to FrogWatch USA™.
You will be helping scientists to figure out why amphibian populations are declining. After scientists identify some of the problems facing frogs, they can work on solutions to help save them. At the same time, you will get more in touch with nature through your study site. And you will learn to identify frogs from their calls.
I had no idea that frog calls were so diverse! eNature has a great page with frog and toad calls. I couldn't help myself - I started hitting all of the "listen" buttons at once. Soon, a whole symphony of voices filled my living room. It is amazing how the calls are so different. I can understand why it might be easier to identify a frog by sound than by sight.
If you are not in the United States, you still should be able to join a frogwatch in your area. For example, FrogWatch Saskatchewan is looking for volunteers, and check out Frog Atlas Australia.
Photo credit: Topato through a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.