Science

Michigan Wants Volunteers to Survey Toads and Frogs Again This Year

By Charles Omedo , Feb 17, 2017 12:54 AM EST
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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is requesting for individual volunteers to help out with its yearly frog and toad survey. The main aim of this annual event is to help the state determine the population and growth amphibians in the state. Volunteers will only need to listen to frog calls during the breeding season and identify their species and numbers.

Purpose of the annual frog and toad survey event

Biologists in Michigan are worried that the population of amphibians are declining in the state, and are taking proactive steps to remedy the situation. The coordinator of the state's frog and toad survey, Lori Sargent, lamented the steady decline of mink frogs and Fowler's toads among other amphibians in the state. She attributes this steady decline to the limited range occupied by the identified species against other amphibians that can be found anywhere in the state, the Holland Sentinel writes.

What volunteers will do to carry out the toad and frog survey

All that volunteers are required to do is to visit the breeding habitats of these amphibians at least three times during spring. The mating and breeding activities of toads and frogs peak during spring season and this is when they are easy to sight and counted by sounds they emit. Biologists say volunteers can usually identify species of calling frogs and toads by their sounds. There are 10 wetland sites in Michigan, and these are places volunteers are expected to visit to make their recordings.

The annual toad and frog survey program in Michigan is the second longest running in the United States. Biologists and state officials are worried that environmental pollution, human interference, disease and loss of habitat are among factors responsible for the steady decline of toads and frogs among other amphibians in the state. Volunteers with experience will have no problems carrying out the task, but those without any experience can learn more at http://www.migov/wildlife.

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