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Volunteers needed for the annual DNR frog and toad survey

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers throughout the state to assist with its annual frog and toad survey.

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.

Michigan’s annual survey efforts help biologists monitor frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

“Fowler’s toads and mink frogs have a limited range in Michigan, unlike most other species that occur statewide,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s frog and toad survey coordinator. “Over the past 20 years, through analyzing the survey data collected, we’ve noticed a decline in these two species in Michigan.”

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites. These sites are visited three times during spring, when frogs and toads are actively breeding. Observers listen for calling frogs and toads at each site, identify the species present, and make an estimate of abundance.

Sargent said new volunteers are needed in all parts of the state, and the continued success of the survey is dependent on strong volunteer support. Those interested in volunteering should contact Lori Sargent at 517-284-6216 or SargentL@michigan.gov.

Michigan has the second-longest-running such survey in the country, after Wisconsin.

More information on the frog and toad survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available at mi.gov/wildlife.