Leap Ahead

frogwatch-banner (1).jpg

Who's croaking in your neighborhood?  Plan now to be a FrogWatch participant and find out.  Registration for training is now open for Montgomery County (similar programs exist in other areas too).  https://mygreenmontgomery.org/frogwatch/

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8pm

255 Rockville Pike, suite 120, Rockville, MD 20850

Email or call Ana Arriaza to register:  Ana.arriaza@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-7778.

This can be a great family activity, especially for older children.  For an adult it's great to have a weekly scheduled nature fix.  You select a nearby area likely to provide habitat for frogs then listen once a week at a set time (just after sunset) and record the number and types of frogs heard.  In our area the first frogs can be heard as early as February.

Volunteer data becomes part of a citizen-science database to track trends in the frog populations of our area.  Better, it gets you outside listening to the sounds at dusk and learning about the amphibians living near you.  I was surprised when I did it that the natural pond in the woods near our home had fewer frogs, both in number and diversity, than the system of ponds I've added to our garden.  I think the primary difference is habitat--I have greater diversity of plant material nearby.  Becacuse of deer the woods have little understory beyond invasives. Other factors could be at play too.  This past year I did not do the FrogWatch program but having been attuned to the frogs I noticed that there were changes in the populations of frogs from the previous year.  Fewer spring peepers, for example.  Photos below are a few friend found in our garden.

Why are Frogs and Toads Important?

Frogs and toads are pollution sensitive organisms and are indicators of environmental health. Frogs and toads are both predators and prey, serving an important role in aquatic food webs. As predators, tadpoles help clean waterways by feeding on algae and adult frogs and toads feed on insects that can be pests and transmit diseases, such as mosquitoes. They also serve as a food source for many other organisms.

 From FrogWatch

From FrogWatch