Monday 27 February 2012

Zoo needs help with unique frog conservation efforts - Search on Net “FrogWatch” to ask about counts in your area. (via Herp Digest)

2/20/12 By WRCB Staff - 

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- The Chattanooga Zoo is inviting the public to participate in a unique program that will help with worldwide amphibian conservation.

"FrogWatch USA" is a citizen science program that trains volunteers to listen and report the breeding calls of frogs and toads in the greater Chattanooga community. Participants can choose to attend one of two free information and training sessions that will take place on March 3 and March 31 from 6-8 p.m. at the Zoo.

Participants will learn to identify local frog and toad species by call and report their findings online to the national FrogWatch Association.  The data will then be used towards large-scale amphibian conservation efforts.  An official Association of Zoos and Aquariums FrogWatch representative will also be in attendance to help teach participants and answer questions.

Rick Jackson, director of ectotherms and exhibits of the Zoo, says that FrogWatch is a fun activity for families and is extremely important in helping protect the many amphibians who call the world home.

"Amphibian populations are in drastic decline right now due to pollution, pesticides, and the chytrid fungus, originally introduced to amphibians by humans.  In fact, not since the dinosaurs have we faced such a large possible extinction of species," he said.

The data collected will help scientists survey current frog populations to determine the best remedy for their rapid decline.

Space for the training session is limited. Those interested should contact Rick Jackson by email,  Search on Net “FrogWatch” to ask about counts in your area.

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