Silver Spring, MD – As clocks ‘spring forward’ on March 13, 2010, volunteers can take the opportunity to learn more about the amphibians in their own community through FrogWatch USA, the flagship citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
For more than ten years, individuals and families have engaged in amphibian conservation and management by reporting the calls of frogs and toads heard in their area. Previously abundant amphibian populations have experienced dramatic population declines in the United States, and observant FrogWatch USA volunteers can help scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. The data may be used to describe local species diversity, detect rare and non-native species, suggest shifts in species diversity, range, and seasonal timing, and inform the development of land management strategies.
“It is estimated that a third of frogs and other amphibians around the world are threatened by extinction,” said Dr. Paul Boyle, AZA’s Senior Vice President of Conservation and Education. “By becoming citizen scientists, you, your family and your neighbors can help save these species.”
Volunteers are trained to identify local frog and toad species by their calls and how to collect and report their findings accurately. Chapters engage people in both science and conservation in such a way that each volunteer is empowered to play a real role in the scientific process.
There are currently 24 FrogWatch USA Chapters across the country, mostly hosted by AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. To see a complete list of chapters, visit http://www.aza.org/become-a-frogwatch-volunteer/
To learn more about FrogWatch USA and how to get involved, visit http://www.aza.org/frogwatch/.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.
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