FrogWatch volunteers needed at Saint Louis Zoo

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Saint Louis Zoo is looking for St. Louis area “citizen scientists” to become a FrogWatch USA volunteer with the Zoo to monitor frogs and toads.

The Zoo announced their search on Friday. FrogWatchers will monitor frogs and toads from their backyards, parks, fields, creeks or practically anywhere habitat for the amphibians.

According to the Zoo, information gathered from the FrogWatchers can lead to practical, workable ways to stop amphibian decline.

“In just a couple hours, we will train you to distinguish the croaks, peeps and various calls of the 10 most common frog and toad species around the St. Louis area,” Michael Dawson, conservation education liaison at the Saint Louis Zoo and coordinator of the St. Louis chapter of FrogWatch USA, said. “Breeding calls vary greatly and are often mistaken for birds or insects. Their volume ranges from a soft musical thrill to a deafening chorus.”

The Zoo shared that citizen scientists do not need to be a frog or toad expert to become a volunteer.

“You won’t even need to see or touch these amazing amphibians to participate,” the Zoo said. “All you need is an interest in frogs and toads and the time to attend a training session.”

FrogWatch volunteers will be asked to make a commitment to monitor a site of their choosing for at least three minutes, twice a week throughout the frogs’ breeding season, which ranges from February to August. The program is specifically designed for adults, families and students entering grades 9 and up.

If St. Louis area citizen scientists are ready to take a “leap,” they are encouraged to sign up for one of the following FrogWatch trainings, beginning this spring.

2019 Training Schedule:
Thursday, March 14th: 6:30-8:30 pm at the Butterfly House in Faust Park
Thursday, March 21st: 6:30-8:30 pm in the Carriage House at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit
Thursday, March 28th: 6:30-8:30 pm in the Carriage House at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit
Friday, March 29th: 6:30-8:30 pm at Visitor Center at Brommelsiek Park in Defiance
Monday, April 15th: 6:30-8:30 pm in The Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park

If residents in the St. Louis area cannot attend a training class or monitor a site, they can still contribute to the amphibian conservation by recording frog and toad calls through a mobile app, which can be found here. An online auditory library is also being built by FrogWatch St. Louis, to help researches track where frogs and toads are being spotted in the region.

For additional information and training registration, visit stlzoo.org/frogwatch. Additional information can also be gathered by contacting Michael Dawson (email: dawson@stlzoo.org; phone: 314-646-4551).