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.
- Wednesday, Feb 22 at The Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk
- Wednesday, March 1 at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport
- Wednesday, March 8 at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven
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.
For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.org.