Old News Archive

Volunteers Needed to Survey Frogs in Central Maine

April 20, 2008 - TRC

As Maine’s peepers herald the start of spring, Maine Audubon is sending out a cry for volunteers across Central Maine to listen for and note the sounds of frogs on several evenings through early summer in Madison, Greenfield and Kennebago.

“After heavy snow cover and a cold spring delayed the season by about two weeks, wood frogs and spring peepers are finally starting to call along the coast of Maine as far north as Acadia National Park,” said Susan Gallo, Maine Audubon wildlife biologist. “When we get a night of warm rain, then frogs and salamanders will really start coming to life!”

Gallo coordinates the Maine Amphibian Monitoring Project, entering its 11th year of surveying Maine’s amphibian populations.

Ideally, volunteers have e-mail and Internet access and can commit three years to the project. After passing an online quiz on frog calls, they conduct surveys first in early spring to hear spring peepers and wood frogs, then in late spring to hear American toads and northern leopard and pickerel frogs, and finally in early summer for gray tree, green, mink and bullfrogs. Volunteers make 10 stops along their routes, waiting five minutes at each and noting the frog species they hear.

Maine has nine species of amphibians, and usually only a few are heard at any one time, making identification relatively easy for beginners. Potential volunteers as well as the public are welcome to take the frog quiz, designed by the U.S. Geological Survey, at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz.

The Maine Amphibian Monitoring Project was begun in 1997 by Maine Audubon and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to assess amphibian populations, not only across Maine but nationwide as part of an effort coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The program also needs “citizen-science” volunteers in Aroostook County (Dickey, Musquacook Lake, Oakfield/Stair Falls, St. John, Bootford, Chapman, Bridgewater and Patten), northern Maine (Caucomgomoc Lake, Moose Mountain, Penobscot Lake and Pittston Farm), downeast Maine (Tunk Lake, Corea and Ellsworth), and southern and western Maine (North Lebanon and South Parsonsfield).

Those interested in participating should contact Susan Gallo at (207) 781-2330, ext. 216, or sgallo@maineaudubon.org.

MAINE AUDUBON works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation and action.

Maine Audubon maintains some of the most productive, science-based conservation and research programs in the region. Initiatives such as the Maine Loon Project, the Maine Owl Monitoring Program and ongoing programs to monitor and protect the endangered piping plover and least tern are made possible through partnerships with volunteers, public agencies, universities, and other conservation organizations.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.