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FrogWatch Canada

FrogWatch Canada

Canadian herpetologists (scientists who study amphibians and reptiles) are studying declines in various species, hoping to determine causes and possible solutions. Volunteer monitoring programs such as FrogWatch Canada are important because they are often the first signal that a particular species is declining. If such programs were up and running in the late 1970s we would have a much better idea why Northern Leopard Frogs declined across the prairies.

Around the world amphibians are declining. This is occurring in pristine wilderness areas as well as severely modified suburban wetlands. It is unlikely that there is only one global cause of this decline, rather amphibians are being affected by a variety of causes, including increased UV radiation and chemical pollutants. Some species, such as the Golden Toad of Costa Rica and possibly as many as seven species from Australia are now extinct. The loss of the Golden Toad is particularly sobering as it became extinct despite the fact that its habitat was protected in a large nature reserve.

FrogWatch Canada—not to be confused with FrogWatch USA—is part of the NatureWatch program managed by the University of Ottawa Laboratory for Integrated Environmental & Policy Change in collaboration with Nature Canada.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: University of Ottawa Laboratory for Integrated Environmental & Policy Change in collaboration with Nature Canada
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • LOCATION: - Canada
  • PROJECT TYPE: Observation
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Visit the FrogWatch Canada site. All you have to do is listen to frogs calling at a pond—or even at the cottage or in your back yard—on a number of evenings over the calling season, record your findings, and submit the results. You can download observation forms, and if you need help identifying types of frogs, we have a handy ID poster, just email us at info@naturecanada.ca to request one in the mail.

See more projects in FreeObservationAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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