Frog, toad survey volunteers sought
Surveys of calling frogs and toads will be the focus of an upcoming meeting which is planned in the area.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the surveys. Those who may be interested in volunteering are invited to attend an orientation session which is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center near Cypress.
The wetlands center is located 3 miles south of Cypress at 8885 State Route 37 South. For more information or to preregister, call 618-657-2064, Wednesday through Sunday.
In an effort to learn more about the ecology and status of Illinois’ frogs and toads, volunteers are needed to assist with a statewide monitoring program.
New and continuing volunteers will hear a presentation by John Palis, who specializes in biological research, as he shares some of his experiences while conducting anuran (frog and toad) surveys.
Volunteers will receive orientation and training materials that will assist with protocol and identification skills and will be assigned one of six routes to survey.
Four times between February and June, during the mating seasons, volunteers gear up with thermometers, clip boards and data sheet to venture out into a Southern Illinois night to conduct surveys along selected routes in Johnson, Pope, Massac, Alexander, Pulaski and Union counties.
Over the past 20 years, volunteers have assisted with monitoring the anurans throughout the Cache River watershed.
Each survey is conducted by listening for chorusing spring peepers, leopard frogs and a variety of other species.
The work is part of Illinois Natural History Survey monitoring program to learn more about the population trends of Illinois’ anurans.
Of the 15 species of frogs and four species of toads found in Southern Illinois, some species, such as the bird-voiced tree frog, Strecker’s chorus frog, crawfish frog and pickerel frog, may have declined or disappeared in other parts of the state.