Want to become a FrogWatcher? Find out more here.
Learn more about the national FrogWatch USA program.
A Citizen Science Program for Ages 7 & Up
We're looking for volunteer “citizen scientists” to participate in our FrogWatch USA program.
What does a FrogWatcher do?
Program volunteers attend just one training session that discusses the importance of amphibians in the environment, how to tell frog species apart by their calls, and how monitoring our local population helps to protect them. Volunteers commit to monitoring a local amphibian habitat (such as a pond or lake) and collecting data on what they hear, approximately once a week for about 15 minutes.
Why is this important?
Amphibian species are disappearing at an alarming rate across the globe due to a number of factors such as habitat loss, pollution, and disease. This has led to what many conservationists call a "global amphibian crisis," with one third to one half of all amphibian species facing possible extinction.
Though there don’t appear to be any immediate threats to the species found locally in New England, the monitoring and data collected through the FrogWatch program will help conservationists to keep tabs on these populations and react to any decline much more quickly.
“Amphibians act as an important indicator species for healthy environments and are a vital part of the food chain, making up the diet of many other species; some that rely on amphibians as a sole source of food. Without amphibians, insect populations could grow out of control and potentially spread disease that could threaten human populations and agriculture.
The loss of the entire class of amphibians would have a catastrophic effect on the ecosystem. FrogWatch is an easy, enjoyable way for people who have an interest in amphibians and the environment to help.”
RWPZ Conservation Programs Coordinator
What happens to the data collected?
Data collected in Rhode Island will be added to a national FrogWatch USA database (there are 30 FrogWatch USA chapters in 22 states), and will also be shared with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey. In 2011 alone we trained over 200 volunteers, and in April we were recognized by the AZA as the state with the most registered frog watchers that had already submitted data by the end of April. Since 2008 we have trained over 500 volunteers to monitor frog and toad populations in all 5 counties in RI.