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Frogwatch USA Looking For Citizen Scientists

photo courtesy of Saint Louis FrogWatch Chapter

Saint Louis Zoo training sessions set for March 13, 19 and April 3.

Jump in and become a FrogWatch USA volunteer with the Saint Louis Zoo! St. Louis-area “citizen scientists” are needed to monitor frogs and toads from their backyards, parks, fields, creeks or just about anywhere. The information gathered can ultimately lead to practical and workable ways to stop amphibian decline.

 
You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to join FrogWatch. You won’t even need to see or touch these amazing amphibians to participate. All you need is an interest in frogs and toads and the time to attend a training session. You’ll be asked to make a commitment to monitor a site of your choosing for at least three minutes twice a week throughout the frogs’ breeding season, which ranges from about February to August.
 
“In just a couple of hours, we will train you to distinguish the croaks, peeps and various calls of the 10 most common frog and toad species around the St. Louis area,” says Michael Dawson, Conservation Education Liaison at the Zoo and coordinator of the St. Louis chapter of FrogWatch USA. “Breeding calls vary greatly and are often mistaken for birds or insects. Their volume ranges from a soft musical trill to a deafening chorus.”

 
If you’re ready to take that leap, sign up for one the following FrogWatch trainings held this spring. Advance registration for training is requested. The program is designed for adults, families, and for students entering grades 9 and up.
 
2020 Training Schedule:
Friday, March 13 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center at Broemmelsiek Park in Defiance, MO
Thursday, March 19 — 1 to 3 p.m. in the Carriage House at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO
Friday, April 3 — 5 to 8 p.m. in the Visitor Center at Forest Park in St. Louis
Check stlzoo.org/frogwatch  for additional dates.
 
Even if you can’t attend a training class or monitor a site, you can still contribute to amphibian conservation by recording frog and toad calls through an app on your smart device. FrogWatch St. Louis is building an online auditory library, which will help researchers track where frogs and toads are being spotted in the St. Louis region.
 
For more information, training registration, link to the app and to hear some frog calls, visit stlzoo.org/frogwatch. For more information, contact Michael Dawson at dawson@stlzoo.org or (314) 646-4551.
 
Dawson also leads the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Spring Peeper Program, which is working to increase St. Louis urban frog and toad diversity by reestablishing viable and sustainable breeding populations of spring peepers, western chorus frogs and cricket frogs to the watersheds located within the Interstate 270 beltway. Data from FrogWatch St. Louis volunteers may contribute to this conservation program.
 
FrogWatch USA is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ flagship citizen science program. It allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. For over 10 years, FrogWatch USA volunteers have been trained to enter their information. Ongoing analyses of this data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.

One response to “Frogwatch USA Looking For Citizen Scientists

  1. We had a great conversation with Michael Dawson about frogs and toads on Monday afternoon, March 9, at the Zoo. We also had a great conversation with Jeff Dawson about turtles and how they need more TLC because of their endangered habitat. So there is more to come on EE in the weeks ahead on frogs and turtles.

    Like

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