Beautiful sunsets along picturesque shorelines can be had by signing up to volunteer for FrogWatch USA. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is jumping into a new venture and needs your help.
For those who love all things amphibian, or just like the idea of being out-of-doors at twilight or after, this program is for them. FrogWatch USA is a long-term volunteer monitoring program of frogs and toads, said Pam Martin with the center.
After a four-hour training, in which participants learn the seven local frog and toad species’ calls, data collection techniques and all things amphibian, volunteers will be assigned to a location at Cheyenne Bottoms to listen and record frog and toad call intensities any time between 30 minutes after sunset to 1 a.m. for three minutes, twice a week. “It’s that simple.”
The central U.S. is underrepresented for amphibian surveys, leaving a vacuum in amphibian monitoring and population studies, Martin said. “Since Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest inland wetland in the U.S., it is a natural fit to participate in the survey program.”
KWEC would like to start with two sites, designating time periods to volunteers – for example, one volunteer might monitor during April, another in May, another in June and so on. The normal monitoring season runs from February through August.
A volunteer-driven program, participants log in and send their reports to the national center, operated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There will be plenty of help available from KWEC’s FrogWatch USA Chapter Coordinators Martin and Eric Giesing. Each volunteer will receive a FrogWatch kit that includes a frog and toad call CD, data sheets, clipboard, thermometer and flashlight.
So make the leap and sign up for a fun and important new program by calling KWEC at 1-877-243-9268 by March 7. Training sessions will be scheduled after volunteers are identified.