Public invited to participate in FrogWatch census

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo invites residents to become Citizen-Scientist volunteers, and participate in a “FrogWatch” census in area wetlands. In a collaboration between the Zoo, The Maritime Aquarium, and Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, volunteers will make regular visits to wetlands in their neighborhoods and keep a frog log to record the frog and toad calls they hear. Working with experts, volunteers will learn about local frog species, then visit wetlands once or twice a week for about 15 minutes each night this spring and summer.

The watch begins a half hour after sunset, making the watch ideal for families with older children. Observations are reported to a national online database to contribute to amphibian conservation efforts.

“FrogWatch USA is a wonderful way for us to engage a new generation of people interested in preserving animal habitats and conservation,” said Jim Knox, education curator at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. “This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.”

Volunteers do not need any prior experience or knowledge about frogs. One training session is required, each from 7 to 9 p.m. Choose from:

  • Tuesday, Feb 20: (Snow Date: Feb 22) First Floor Meeting Room, CT Forest and Park Association, 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall

  • Thursday, March 1 (Snow Date: March 6) CT’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport

  • Saturday, March 10 (Snow Date: March 13) The Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk

  • Tuesday, March 20 (Snow Date: March 22) Environmental Science Center, next to Peabody Museum, New Haven

Why Frogs? Frogs and toads play a vital role, serving as both prey and predator, in wetland ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world. It’s essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. The data collected by FrogWatch USA volunteers can be used to help inform conservation and management efforts.