Leap into Conservation by Joining Zoo's Frog Watch


ROYAL OAK — The Detroit Zoological Society is encouraging Southeast Michigan residents to join the local chapter of FrogWatch USA, a “citizen science” program tha teaches volunteers how to identify frogs and toads by their breeding calls and gather and record data that supports a national network.

“We already know about the extinctions and crises amphibians face globally, but data is deficient in our own backyards. This program allows us to keep better records and monitor our native species for any changes that may occur,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen.

FrogWatch training classes for 2014 will be held Feb. 8, Feb. 19, Feb. 23, and  March 6 at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center. For more information or to register, contact Associate Curator of Amphibians Rebecca Johnson at rjohnson@dzs.org.

FrogWatch volunteers choose from locations throughout the tri-county area and monitor the sites for several weeks. Their observations provide valuable insight into whether amphibians in the region are declining or increasing or if new species are being found in areas where they have not been identified before.

More than one-third of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, infectious diseases and other factors. FrogWatch is intended to raise awareness of these environmental threats.

FrogWatch USA is a collaborative effort among the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the U.S. The program allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and to contribute to the conservation of amphibians.