CT's Beardsley Zoo Invites Public to Join Citizen Scientist FrogWatch USA

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo invites residents to become Citizen-Scientist volunteers and participate in a “FrogWatch” census in area wetlands. In a collaboration between the Zoo, The Maritime Aquarium, and Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, volunteers will make regular visits to wetlands in their neighborhoods and keep a frog log to record the frog and toad calls they hear. Working with experts, volunteers will learn about local frog species, then visit wetlands once or twice a week for about 15 minutes each night this spring and summer. 

The watch begins a half hour after sunset, making the watch ideal for families with older children. Observations are reported to a national online database to contribute to amphibian conservation efforts. FrogWatch coordinators at each facility keep up to date on data results for participants. 

This year, training sessions will be presented live online. During this entirely virtual training, participants will learn about Citizen Science, the important role amphibians play in the ecosystem, and how to identify ten species of frogs heard in Connecticut. After the training, participants will be sent a virtual assessment they need to complete in order to become a certified FrogWatch Volunteer. 
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“FrogWatch USA is a wonderful way for us to engage a new generation of people interested in preserving animal habitats and conservation,” explained Jim Knox, education curator at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. “This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.”

Volunteers do not need any prior experience or knowledge about frogs. Only one training session is required, each from 7 to 9 p.m. Choose from:

  •       Weds, Feb 24 at 7 p.m.
  •       Tues, March 2 at 7 p.m.
  •       Thurs, March 25 at 7 p.m. 

For more information and to register: https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/frogwatch.html

Why Frogs? Frogs and toads play a vital 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. It’s essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. The data collected by FrogWatch USA volunteers is used to help inform conservation and management efforts.

Covid-19 safety rules remain in effect. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. Face masks are required for everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them. Social distancing is mandated throughout the Zoo.