The weather is warming up, which means more people are out spending time in nature. One of the most popular things to do in warmer weather is to go on a hike or nature walk. This is a great way to observe nature – the trees, flowers and plants, and a variety of animals. FrogWatch takes your typical nature walk and kicks it up a notch by encouraging citizens to be on the lookout for frogs and other amphibians.
What is FrogWatch? Not only an activity, but also an organization, FrogWatch USA™ is a long-term citizen science monitoring program of frogs and toads. As a volunteer-based monitoring program, FrogWatch gives citizens across the country an opportunity to collect local data and gather information to help combat the global decline of amphibians.
Thousands of species of amphibians are currently threatened with extinction. FrogWatch allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve the future of many amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. Frogs and toads play an important role, serving as both prey and predator in wetland ecosystems, and are considered indicators of environmental health and good water quality.
For over ten years, volunteers have been trained to acquire this data and enter their FrogWatchUSA information and ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.
The FrogWatch season runs from February to August, so now is the time to get involved with the program! There will be a FrogWatch training session at the Virginia Zoo on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 3 pm – 6 pm. This class is for those interested in becoming certified FrogWatch volunteers to contribute significant data, learn more about frogs in their area, and the opportunity to collaborate with scientists/specialists in the area.
Anyone interested in becoming involved in FrogWatch should attend this session, which is the most time consuming part of becoming a certified FrogWatch coordinator. The rest is easy as the collection of data only takes a few minutes each month and can be done in a location such as First Landing State Park or in your own backyard!
We hope you decide to become a citizen scientist and join us for the FrogWatch 2018 season! You may even make some unFROGettable memories this summer!