Do you hear the sounds of spring?
It’s that time of year when many of our Ontario frogs have moved out of their hibernation areas and started their journey to find a mate and a place to breed. They are heading to temporarily flooded areas in forests, also called ephemeral or vernal pools, and wetlands such as marshes and swamps.
Conservation groups across Ontario want to know when you start hearing the breeding songs of these little guys and when they start to quiet down at end of July. It is important to monitor all frog populations in Ontario to see if a specific area’s species is on the rise or sadly, as in most cases, on the decline. By telling us where you hear and see frogs you become a Citizen Scientist. Your sightings will be combined with the data from hundreds of volunteers across Ontario who have joined together to monitor frogs. This data helps conservation and research groups identify hotspots to help protect frogs and their froggy spaces.
Report any sightings or breeding calls you hear to FrogWatch Ontario!
This awesome nationwide Citizen Science programme is administered by Environment Canada’s NatureWatch and is in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Canada, University of Ottawa, Wilfred Laurier University and Adopt-A-Pond (the Ontario provincial coordinator).
Did you know that 70% of wetlands in Southern Ontario have been damaged or destroyed so frog habitat is now at a premium? Most frog population are found in pockets that are in the range of a few 100 square meters so many of these creatures will have to cross trails and roads to get to their breeding, nesting and overwintering sites. With urban expansion, road mortality is becoming a major cause for concern for these spring time hoppers so keep an eye out while walking on trails and along road ways near wet areas.
To get started you can visit Adopt-A-Pond’s Frogs and Toads Species Guides to get familiar with Ontario’s 12 species of frogs and their unique and beautiful calls.
For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit http://www.torontozoo.com/conservation/