Become A FrogWatcher

Become A FrogWatcher

"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.”  Lou Perrotti, director of conservation programs

Amphibian species are disappearing at an alarming rate across the globe due to a number of factors such as habitat loss, pollution, and disease. As a citizen scientist with FrogWatch USA, you can help save our frogs!

FrogWatch trainings cover the importance of amphibians in the environment. The instruction focuses on how to:
• monitor our local frog population to protect the species;
• determine factors when choosing a site to monitor;
• tell frog species apart by their calls; and,
• report findings to FrogWatch USA.

Training Dates & Times

Sunday, March 4: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday, March 10: 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Price: $10/household (includes up to 2 adults and 2 children age 8+)

REGISTRATION COMING SOON

After passing a test on identifying frog calls at the end of the training, certified volunteers then commit to monitoring a local amphibian habitat (such as a pond or lake) approximately once a week for about 15 minutes, and collecting/submitting data on what they hear. Data collected will be added to a national FrogWatch USA database. In 2014, Rhode Island FrogWatch citizen scientists followed 80 sites almost 900 times! In those 900 observations, FrogWatchers heard more than 1,220 frog choruses.

Questions? Contact Programs@rwpzoo.org or call (401) 785-3510 ext. 358.

Please note: FrogWatch trainings will cover a large amount of information and protocols.  While FrogWatching is a great after-dark family activity for all ages, the trainings are designed for interested older children and adults.

Details & Results to Date
What does a FrogWatcher do?

Program volunteers attend just one training session that discusses the importance of amphibians in the environment. The training also informs participants on how to tell frog species apart by their calls, and track our local population to help protect various species of amphibians. Volunteers commit to auditing 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.

While there does not appear to be any immediate threats to the species found locally in New England, the data collected through the FrogWatch program will help conservationists monitor these populations, and react to any decline rapidly.
What happens to the data collected?

Data collected in Rhode Island will be added to a national FrogWatch USA database (including 30 FrogWatch USA chapters in 22 states), and will be shared with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey. We continue to gain recognition from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as the state with the most active FrogWatchers. Since 2008, we have trained more than 700 volunteers to monitor frog and toad populations in all five counties in RI.
 

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 2014 alone we  trained over 130 volunteers, and have been consistently recognized  by the AZA as the state with the most active FrogWatchers. Since 2008 we have trained over 700 volunteers to monitor frog and toad populations in all 5 counties in RI.

Statistics

In 2014, Rhode Island FrogWatch citizen scientists monitored 80 sites almost 900 times! In those 900 observations, FrogWatchers heard over 1,220 frog choruses.

In 2015, FrogWatch results from those trained by Roger Williams Park Zoo included:

  • 109 people trained during three trainings;
  • 30 different FrogWatch teams, made up of 52 Frogwatchers, submitted helpful data sheets;
  • 63 sites monitored;
  • 40 hours listening for frogs;
  • 804 data sheets from RI FrogWatchers sent to FrogWatch USA; and,
  • 1,082 frog and toad observations recorded.
2016 FrogWatch Numbers

The success of the program continued in 2016.  AZA cited our accomplishments for having the FrogWatch chapter with the most volunteers certified – a total of 100 people – and for the most returning volunteers, 45 people, in conjunction with the Beardsley-Peabody FrogWatch program in Connecticut.

During the 2016 FrogWatch season, the Roger Williams Park Zoo chapter:

  • trained 98 Frog Watchers;
  • submitted 597 data observations to FrogWatch USA, making Rhode Island the nation’s fourth greatest contributor of observations for the 2016 season;
  • monitored 52 separate sites by 29 active FrogWatchers, 24 of which have been monitored for one or more years; and
  • collected data in four different states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire.