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!

Training Dates & Times

Thank you for a great 2021! Stay tuned for our 2022 training dates

Price: $5/household (includes up to 2 adults and children of that household)

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.

Registrants will need access to a compatible internet connected device to complete the training. The training will be accessible on most PCs, tablets and smartphones. We recommend the use of a PC as some of the training may be difficult to see on a smaller screen.

The training will take approx. 2 hours to complete but will be entirely self-paced and permits the registrants to take breaks as needed throughout. 

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 addition to the training, registrants will also gain access to the following: Live Q&A on ZOOM with RWPZ FrogWatch Team on March 9 & 13; Roger Williams Park Zoo FrogWatch USA Facebook Group; Regular FrogWatch E-Newsletters; and Access to the RWPZ FrogWatch USA Online Resource Library.

Questions? Contact 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 (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.


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.