What is FrogWatch USA?
FrogWatch USA is AZA’s flagship citizen science program that allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. For over ten years, volunteers have been trained to enter their FrogWatch USA information and ongoing analyses of these data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species. Use these links to view some of the FrogWatch USA Reports generated from these data:
Learn more about future directions of FrogWatch USA, including efforts to enhance its scientific, education, and conservation impact, by viewing the 2012 conference poster.
Frogs and toads have served as important cultural symbols for centuries; this can range from symbolizing fertility in ancient Egypt, luck in Japan, and rain gods for some Native American cultures to Kermit the Frog’s status as a modern-day celebrity. Frogs and toads have been vitally important in the field of human medicine and compounds from their skin are currently being tested for anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.
Frogs and toads also play an important role, serving as both prey and predator, in wetland ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world and it’s essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. Learn more about amphibian conservation.
What is Citizen Science?
While an exact definition of citizen science remains elusive, it generally refers to research collaborations between scientists and volunteers that expand opportunities for scientific data collection while also providing access to scientific information for community members. Citizen science programs may be appropriate for supporting research questions that are long-term and/or large-scale in nature, requiring significantly more data than a single researcher or small research team could compile. To date, long-term data collected by citizen scientists has provided evidence about species distribution as well as identified some impacts climate disruption has had on wildlife. Moving forward, as the pace of large-scale ecosystem change increases, data collected by citizen scientists will continue to grow in importance.
FrogWatch USA Seasonal Newsletters
The seasonal FrogWatch USA newsletter features the experiences and photos of volunteers, along with program updates and training announcements. Read the FrogWatch USA Newsletters.
FrogWatch USA Chapters
FrogWatch USA Chapters operate within a national AZA infrastructure and are hosted and managed by zoos, aquariums, and like-minded organizations. Development of a FrogWatch USA Chapter showcases each institution’s involvement in amphibian and wetland conservation, community engagement in research and education, and is essential to the advancement of the FrogWatch USA program. Learn more about hosting a FrogWatch USA Chapter.
FrogWatch USA Volunteers
FrogWatch USA volunteers learn to identify local frog and toad species by their calls during the breeding season and how to report their findings accurately. By mastering these skills, volunteers gain increased experience and control over asking and answering scientific questions which, in turn, augments science literacy, facilitates conservation action and stewardship, and increases knowledge of amphibians. Learn more about how to become a FrogWatch USA volunteer!
Current FrogWatch USA Volunteers
Welcome back and thank you for your participation during the 2012 FrogWatch USA season! Learn more about continuing your involvement in this national citizen science program.
To learn more about the AZA FrogWatch USA program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow FrogWatch USA on Facebook.