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Hop to It: Wisconsin DNR Seeks Volunteers for Frog and Toad Survey

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If you’re a fan of frogs, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources might have just the project for you.

It’s conducting three frog call surveys and it’s in need of some helping ears.

When ice finally thaws from Northwoods lakes, you might start hearing the sound of frog calls.

Frogs and toads start emerging from hibernation as the temperature warms.

While they wake up, the Wisconsin DNR works with volunteers to conduct surveys of frog and toad populations across the state.

Andrew Badje, a conservation biologist with the DNR, said these projects are important because they show where different frog and toad species live, how they respond to different weather changes and when a certain species’ population starts to decline.

“It’s a really good tool for us to assess what’s happening with these species and how to go about conserving them depending on how rare they are,” he said.

The first survey the DNR is holding this spring has been around since 1984.

Volunteers drive around pre-set routes listening for various frog and toad calls.

With the information they gather, the DNR gets a good grasp on the size of frog populations across the state.

“That’s why this survey was created,” Badje said. “So we can catch mass die offs across the state and react a lot sooner than maybe what happened in the mid-1900s.”

The second survey is specifically on the mink frog, which is a species of special concern.

Finally, the last survey is a phenology survey, which helps monitor how frog breeding seasons are affected if spring comes early or late.

Anyone can get involved in this survey, especially people who live near water.

“You can go out there at night for five minutes and record what’s calling. And do that as much as you can,” Badje said.

The surveys will begin in April.

If you’re interested in participating, you can find more information at the Wisconsin DNR’s Frog and Toad Survey website. You can also email WFTS@wisconsin.gov with questions or to sign up as a volunteer.

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