Citizen scientist volunteers sought for ‘Frog Watch’

Gray tree frog —Maritime Aquarium photo
Gray tree frog —Maritime Aquarium photo

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is seeking citizen-scientist volunteers who will be … hoppy to help with a census of frogs in their neighborhoods.

An army of trained volunteers is needed to provide local data to a national program called “FrogWatch.” The local effort is a collaboration between The Maritime Aquarium, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport and Yale’s Peabody Museum in New Haven.

Although it’s called “FrogWatch,” volunteers will be asked to frog listen, not to watch.

You don’t have to know anything about frogs and their different calls to sign up. That will be taught during upcoming training sessions.

“FrogWatch” volunteers must commit to make regular visits to a wetlands in their neighborhood once or twice a week for about 15 minutes this spring and summer, beginning each night a half-hour after sunset. During these listening sessions, volunteers are asked to record the different kinds of frogs they hear making calls.

“For some volunteers who have ponds or streams near their homes, these listening sessions could even be from their own yard or porch,” said Bridget Cervero, manager of the Aquarium’s Citizen Science programs. “Ideally, where volunteers listen should be convenient to their homes.”

Kids can help, but older children are recommended because, in summer, a half-hour after sunset can be after 9 p.m.

Data collected in Connecticut goes into a national database that helps with amphibian-conservation efforts.

The trainings are free to members of the three organizations, or $10 for nonmember families.

Training sessions are:

  • Saturday, March 2, 2-4 p.m., The Maritime Aquarium, 10 N Water St., Norwalk.
  • Friday, March 8, 7-9 p.m., CT’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport.
  • Friday, March 22, 7-9 p.m., CT Audubon Center, 1361 Main St., Glastonbury.

Each session has a snow date.

Advance registration is required for the trainings. To sign up and get more details, visit maritimeaquarium.org/citizen-science.