Field Herping

Lazy frog monitoring

It’s nice to be able to do frog monitoring without leaving your house. Spring peepers have been calling like mad for a while, but last night they were joined by American toads (whose calls started weakly but strengthened throughout the evening) and later by gray treefrogs (which were fewer in number). Three species, identified without even having to go outside.

Amphibian monitoring is important: FrogWatch Canada, FrogWatch USA, FrogWatch Australia.

A healthy — and noisy — frog population is a good sign of a healthy environment, I think, and if this is true, we’re doing well out here.

Last week, for example, I actually spotted a leopard frog on Main Street: I couldn’t bend to grab it, but I loomed over it to encourage it to hop across the road to the park. We’ve found toads and green frogs in our yard. The neighbour’s son has caught green frogs in the creek. Jennifer spotted a wood frog along the PPJ trail two years ago; last month we also saw them — and heard them — on Robert and Marilee’s property. We hear peepers frequently, even in town, spring and fall.

That’s a total of six species either seen or heard without too much effort. We have yet to see or hear bullfrogs, mink frogs, pickerel frogs or western chorus frogs — these last two species are quite rare, though; the first two we’ve seen plenty of elsewhere.

Spotted turtle survey photos

Here’s something I did during my enforced time offline: I finally got the photos from the 2003 Spotted Turtle Survey online, only two years and three months late (see previous entry). I procrastinated uploading them for the longest time because I had a hard time winnowing them down. I’ve frequently had that problem when trying to pick from too many photos; I think I’m finally over that, though, because I managed to pick the 27 best photos from more than 170. And I think these photos are awfully good even if I do say so myself. (For more on the survey, see my report from the 2001 trip.)

Note: Entries prior to November 2003 did not have categories assigned to them, and are not included in category archives; please consult the monthly archives.