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Frog Monitors Train Their Ears to the Unique Calls of Local Amphibians

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On February 16th, 2011, Laura Milkert, ECCo Stewardship Coordinator and Alan Resetar, Collections Manager in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, conducted a Chicago Wilderness Calling Frog Survey Workshop at Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland, Illinois. Beginning and experienced monitors from southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana learned how to collect data for the survey and how to identify the calls of the 13 species of local amphibians. Workshop participants listened to the differences among the various calls, including the raspy “chirdick” of the early-calling Wood Frog and the high pitched “peep” and sleigh bell sound of the Spring Peeper (featured here).

Photo: Laura Milkert

The Calling Frog Survey is part of an amphibian biodiversity recovery plan that monitors frog and toad populations. Frog Monitors will now gather data this spring at survey routes throughout the Calumet Region and Chicago Wilderness. This information will help tell the story about what is happening with amphibian abundance, distribution, and help shape conservation planning and land management.