Frogs and toads have not been singing any time this year and probably won't for at least another month or so. But they will be singing again at some point and you have the chance to be out monitoring their songs to help out the Cache River Wetlands Center. Frog call training day is 1 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Henry N. Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 state Route 37 South, 3 miles south of Cypress.
The Cache River Wetlands folks tell you how:
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 St. Rt. 37 S., Cypress, Illinois
Four times between February and June, volunteers gear up with thermometers, clip boards and data sheets to venture out into a southern Illinois night to conduct frog and toad call surveys along selected routes in Johnson, Pope, Massac, Alexander, Pulaski and Union Counties.
Since 1995 volunteers have assisted with monitoring these amphibians throughout the Cache River watershed.
Each survey is conducted by listening for chorusing spring peepers, southern leopard frogs, American toad, bullfrog and a variety of other anuran species.
The work is part of a statewide monitoring program to learn more about the population trends of Illinois’ frogs and toads.
Of the 15 species of frogs and 4 species of toads found in southern Illinois, some species (bird-voiced tree frog, Strecker’s chorus frog, crawfish frog, pickerel frog) may have declined in Illinois.
The mysterious decline of amphibians throughout the world is a dilemma. Most people probably do not give them much thought, but amphibians play an important role in controlling insect populations, providing a valuable food source to other animals and contributing songs to warm spring and summer evenings.
In an effort to learn more about the ecology and status of Illinois’ frogs and toads, volunteers are needed to assist with a statewide monitoring program.
Interested in volunteering, come to the orientation on Saturday, February 2 at 1:00 p.m. at Barkhausen- Cache River Wetlands Center, 8885 State Route 37 South, three miles south of Cypress, Illinois. For information and to preregister call 618-657-2064 Wed. – Sun.
New volunteers will receive orientation and training materials that will assist with protocol and identification skills and will be assigned one of six routes to survey.
Continuing volunteers are encouraged to attend the orientation to meet new volunteers and for additional data sheets and information updates.