Volunteering for an un’frog’ettable experience

Volunteers are needed to assist the DNR in frog calling surveys
Volunteers are needed to assist the DNR in frog calling surveys(Wisconsin DNR)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s one of the sure signs of spring, the sounds of frogs calling, or croaking, once the sun sets.

And that means the Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to carry on a Wisconsin spring tradition.

If you’ve stepped outside in recent nights, you may have heard the evidence that frogs are getting frisky. “A lot of these frogs are kind of warming up and now finding their wetlands of choice, and now the males are making these breeding calls and trying to attract females to breed with,” says DNR Conservation Biologist Andrew Badje.

According to Badje, Wisconsin is home to 11 different frog species, and the DNR relies on volunteer citizen scientists to help track their population trends by listening to their calls.

While the DNR already has enough volunteers signed up for its driving surveys, which include 175 routes around the state where people make ten stops and listen for five minutes on three different nights, anyone can take part in the phenology survey.

“This is pretty ideal for people who have a pond or a wetland in their neighborhood, or even for property owners who have a wetland in their backyard, and can just kind of go out and have a beverage and listen to frogs for five minutes at the end of the night,” says Badje.

Badje says you can listen for as many nights as you want and record what you hear on a data sheet.

He says the information is vital in showing how frogs may adapt their calling behavior from year to year, along with the timing window for each species.

For anyone tired of feeling cooped up, he calls it a great family activity.

“Be able to get outside and see the stars and to listen to the frogs and whatever else is out there, there’s birds calling, there’s other animals running across the roads, there’s a lot of stuff out there that we don’t normally see when we’re hanging out inside watching Netflix or something,” says Badje with a smile.

To learn how to volunteer, and to hear the different calls to identify the species of frogs in love, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/newsroom/release/42086

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