For the 16th year, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), along with volunteers from around Michigan, will be conducting a statewide frog and toad survey.
The annual survey efforts help biologists keep track of the frog and toad population and distribution in Michigan.
Since the 1980s, declining populations of frogs, toads, and other amphibians have been documented worldwide. According to studies, habitat loss, pollution, disease, and collection have all contributed to the decreasing numbers of amphibians.
“We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan’s frog and toad populations,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s survey coordinator.
The DNR needs volunteers to help conduct the surveys along a statewide system of permanent survey routes that each consist of 10 wetland sites. Sargent said the bulk of these sites are within Oakland and Kalamazoo counties.
“We need new volunteers in all parts of the state,” she said. “Please consider joining us every spring for a fun, educational opportunity and run a route. The continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support.”
Volunteers visit the monitoring sites three times during the spring, when frogs and toads are actively breeding, and independently go along their routes to listen for calling frogs and toads in order to identify the species and estimate the amount of frogs and toads present. Each volunteer is provided with a CD of all 13 native species’ calls to help identify each species. However, not all native species are located at each site.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Sargent at email@example.com or by phone at 517-373-9418.
She suggested signing up as soon as possible as frogs and toads had already begun calling last week before the cold snap.
The survey is funded by sales of the state’s wildlife conservation vehicle license plate and donations to the non-game fund.