Why listen to frog calls?
photo by Lynne Staub (DNREC)
Frog and toad calls are an important way to determine where different species occur and how populations are doing over time. Frogs, toads, and other amphibians have received more attention over the last few years as scientists and the public have become increasingly alarmed over amphibian deformities and disappearances.
Because most amphibians need both aquatic and upland habitats, they can serve as important indicators of water quality and other aspects of environmental health. Concern over declines in amphibian populations has prompted the initiation of amphibian monitoring programs around North America and around the world.
Volunteers with the Delaware Amphibian Monitoring Program (DAMP) conduct nighttime surveys of calling frogs around the state each year. Volunteers are assigned a driving route in one portion of the state, and conduct surveys at stops along that route. Three nighttime surveys are required between February and July each year.
What do volunteers do?
photo by John D. Willson (USGS)
Most of Delaware’s routes have volunteers assigned to them but we typically have one or two unoccupied routes and can have more than one volunteer assigned to a route. Potential volunteers must:
- Have their own car and a valid driver's license
- Be willing to conduct surveys along a roadside at night
- Have access to a computer with Internet and the ability to:
- Play Real Media sound files (to meet the frog quiz requirement) - a Real Media player can be downloaded for free from the Real Media website
- Access email for communication purposes
- Enter data into an online database
This is a long-term project and is best suited for volunteers who are able to commit to conducting surveys for at least 3 years.
How do I learn the calls of Delaware frogs?
A training CD and other materials are provided. After volunteers familiarize themselves with the calls of Delaware’s 17 frog species they must pass an on-line frog-call quiz.
Contact Vickie Henderson at 302-735-8651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are needed for Kent and Sussex County frog routes. Please contact Vickie Henderson to learn more!
DAMP is part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP).
For more information and route availability, please visit the NAAMP website at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/naamp/.