The Friends of the Rouge is once again looking for volunteers to participate in its annual Rouge River Watershed Frog and Toad Survey.
The Friends of the Rouge has been conducting this survey since 1998 in order to monitor the health of the wetlands because the presence of several species of frogs and toads is an indicator of good wetland health.
Frogs and toads are very sensitive and require a healthy wetland to survive.
During the survey, volunteers learn how to recognize eight frog and toad calls commonly heard in Michigan in spring. The volunteers are assigned a nearby area to survey for frogs and toads by listening.
“Learning to identify which type of frog or toad makes each sound is what volunteers most often report they enjoy about the survey,” said Sally Petrella, the volunteer monitoring program manager for the Friends of the Rouge. “It is a skill that makes spring more enjoyable.”
The survey includes identifying seven species of frogs: the wood frog, the western chorus frog, the northern spring peeper, the northern leopard frog, the gray treefrog, the green frog, and the bullfrog. There is also one species of toad — the American toad — targeted during the survey.
The actual surveying begins in March once the temperature reaches above 46 degrees, and continues through July, which is the peak breeding season for the frogs. Volunteers go out on their own on warm, damp evenings to survey a few times a month. All the data is then compiled and provided to surveyors in local communities, as well as the state.
Surveys must be done within the Rouge River watershed, with survey areas being assigned as close to volunteers’ residences as possible.
The Friends of the Rouge will be hosting a training session on Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at Bloomfield Township Hall, located at 4200 Telegraph. Pre-registration is required to attend the session.
For more information visit www.therouge.org.