The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) nongame wildlife program is recruiting volunteers for a frog and toad calling survey to help track the health of the state’s 14 species. This effort is part of the nationwide North American amphibian monitoring program.
"Without the dedication of generous volunteers, this project would not be possible,” said Heidi Cyr, frog and toad survey volunteer coordinator. “Many frog and toad species are indicators of habitat quality and provide valuable information on the condition of Minnesota’s wetlands. The volunteers’ reports also help us track the health of the state’s frog and toad populations.”
New volunteers are provided with a kit that includes a CD containing calls of Minnesota’s frog and toad species, a poster of Minnesota’s frogs and toads, a map of a pre-defined route in an area of their choice (for route availability and the results of past surveys visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/frogtoad_survey/index.html), and directions on how to run the route. A vehicle is required to travel between stops.
Participants will conduct nighttime “listening surveys” on three evenings between April and July. These 10-stop routes are run after dark in good weather and in each of the following time periods to capture seasonal variation in calling frog species: April 15 – 30 (early spring), May 20 - June 5 (late spring), and June 25 - July 10 (summer). Participants record their information on data-sheets in their volunteer kit.
The routes in and around the Twin Cities and other larger cities have already been filled but that doesn’t mean people living in these areas can’t still participate. There are many routes still open in the more rural areas of northern and southern Minnesota. Many volunteers take a new route every year to explore the state, or they take routes near a favorite campground, near their cabin or near relatives.
Anyone interested in learning frog and toad calls and participating in this survey should check the route availability map, choose a route, and call Cyr at 651-259-5107 or email email@example.com.
With the continued help of Minnesotans who volunteer their time and donate to the wildlife checkoff on their state income tax returns, the DNR nongame wildlife program will be able to perform surveys and research studies like this that will help keep Minnesota a state rich in wildlife resources.