2014-02-27 / Outdoors

DNR seeking volunteers for frog and toad survey


Wood frogs are commonly heard calling in Michigan’s forested wetlands in the spring. 
Photo courtesy DNR Wood frogs are commonly heard calling in Michigan’s forested wetlands in the spring. Photo courtesy DNR LANSING – Imagine sitting beside a quiet pond in the balmy spring air, listening to the frog and toad chorus. Now imagine yourself contributing to the understanding of Michigan’s frog and toad population as you listen.

Though this winter may seem never-ending, spring will soon be here and volunteers are needed to assist with the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division’s annual Frog and Toad Survey. This survey offers biologists a snapshot of the current abundance and distribution of frogs and toads in the state.

Declining populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection.

“Through this survey, we have collected a large, valuable data set over the years to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan’s frog and toad populations,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s survey coordinator. “We will continue this effort for a 19th year in 2014.”

Citizen-scientist volunteers across Michigan are assigned a survey route containing 10 wetland sites.

Each volunteer is asked to drive his or her survey route and visit the 10 sites three times during the spring, when frogs and toads are actively breeding. Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.

“We could still use some new volunteers in all parts of the state. Please consider joining us for a fun, educational time every spring and run a route. The continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support,” said Sargent.

To volunteer for the 2014 Frog and Toad Survey, contact Lori Sargent by email at SargentL@ michigan.gov or by phone at (517) 284-6216. Please provide your name and address if leaving a message.

More information on the Frog and Toad Survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/wildlife.

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