Thursday, April 2, 2009

DNR Frog Survey Begins Its 14th Year

gray tree from
gray tree frog (photo from Michigan DNR)
a news release of Michigan DNR

The Department of Natural Resources announces the start of the 14th annual statewide frog and toad survey coordinated each year by the department's Wildlife Division.

Declining populations of frog, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease, and collection.

Michigan's annual survey efforts help biologists keep tabs on frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

"We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan's frog and toad populations," said Lori Sargent, the DNR's survey coordinator.

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of ten wetland sites. These sites are visited three times during spring when frogs and toads are actively breeding. Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.

"There are more than 400 routes statewide, running through every Michigan county. We add routes every year but we lose a few every year as well. The continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support," said Sargent.

See Michigan Frog and Toad Survey
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