Here’s Some Family Fun: Take Part In Wisconsin’s Frog Survey
No croaking about it. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to help out with three upcoming surveys - two involving frogs and one involving toads. And because they involve after-dark and don't require any specific biological or technical skills - they're perfect for getting the whole family involved.
These surveys are perfect for social-distancing as well - as they don't require being near crowds or non-family members due to their nature. According to an article in the Superior Telegram, participants will "drive along set routes three nights during the frog mating season" for one of the surveys. Meanwhile, the other survey studies phenology, and is :aimed at understanding how climate change may be affecting frogs"; participants can "complete [this] at home or at a nearby wetland, lake or river."
Prior to the start of the survey participation, volunteers would watch a series of short videos on the different frog and toad species on a website. This would provide the basis of understanding needed to move forward with the surveys.
According to sources, Wisconsin started surveying frogs and toads back in the 1980's in a partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey. Today, it's recognized as "North America's longest running citizen science frog calling-survey". In grand total, survey volunteers have logged "10,108 survey nights and 99,452 site visits" since the beginning of the record keeping process. This research has been essential to DNR conservation biologists as they "define the distribution, status, and population trends of all 12 frog and toad species in the state".
The Wisconsin DNR says that participation usually only takes three nights: one in early spring, another in late spring and a last one in the summer; ten stops per night are involved. The DNR points out that there are "roughly two driving routes per county" and they add that many of these routes remain unclaimed for 2021.
If you'd like to take part or would like more information, click here. You can also email WTTS@wisconsin.gov for information.