Courtesy of BuBZ, via WikiMedia Commons
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.
- PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: .
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request one in the mail.