MARQUETTE - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking for veteran and novice volunteers to participate in this year's statewide frog and toad survey.
This is the 18th year for the survey.
To perform the census, the surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites. Observers visit the sites three times during spring -when frogs and toads are actively breeding- and listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.
"We could still use some new volunteers in all parts of the state. Please consider joining us for a fun, educational time every spring and run a route," said Lori Sargent, the DNR's survey coordinator. "The continued success of the program is dependent on strong volunteer support."
DNR officials said declining populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection, the DNR said.
Michigan's annual survey efforts help biologists keep tabs on frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.
"We have collected a large, valuable data set to help us evaluate the condition of Michigan's frog and toad populations," Sargent said.
Those interested in participating in this year's DNR frog and toad survey should contact Sargent at: SargentL@michigan.gov or 517-373-9418, and to leave their name and address.
More information on the Frog and Toad Survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/ wildlife. Select "Research Projects" from the left-side navigation bar.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.