Calling Frog Monitoring
According to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, “The Calling Frog Survey's mission is to "train and engage community scientists to contribute to our understanding of the breeding distributions of local frog species, to monitor long-term trends in frog breeding populations, and to improve our understanding of frog response to habitat restoration and land management."
Calling Frog Monitoring is an excellent volunteer opportunity for individuals who enjoy spending evenings outdoors while using their sense of hearing. Nachusa Grasslands is home to seven frog species, one toad species, and possibly two other frog species.
Calling Frog Monitors attend training workshops and learn to follow survey protocols, identify species by their calls and physical characteristics, set up monitoring routes, and record frog/toad abundance and distribution data. Sessions are offered by Notebaert personnel in various Chicagoland locations, usually starting in early January.
Monitoring takes place one half hour after sunset three times each year: between February 25 and April 20, May 10 and May 30, and June 29 and July 10. Volunteers listen silently for ten minutes in four or five spots along their established routes, so each outing takes at least one hour.
Online forms recording the various species observed, along with wind and weather conditions, are submitted at the end of the monitoring season.
The information collected is then shared with scientists, land managers, partner agencies, and the public to assist with their restoration efforts.
Calling Frog Recordings: