News release from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo:
Zoo Invites Citizens to Gather Data on Frogs
Croak, croak! The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo invites local residents to participate in a national initiative to gather data on frog and toad populations.
The program, called FrogWatch USA, trains volunteers to recognize the calls of frogs and toads. The volunteers then visit local ponds, streams, and wetlands to document the species they hear. The information is sent to a national database, where it is used to track trends in amphibian populations.
“Frogs and toads are known as â€˜indicator species,’ like the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine,” says Zoo Animal Curator Mark Weldon. “They are often the first to show the effects of pollution and habitat loss.” Frog and toad numbers are in serious decline worldwide.
Participants may attend one of two training classes, which will be held at the Diehm Museum, 600 Franke Park Drive: Tuesday, March 15 from 5:30-9:30 pm, or Saturday, March 19 from 1:00-5:00 pm.
There is no fee to attend. Families, adults, teens, and youth groups are all welcome. To register for the training or get more information, contact the Zoo Volunteer Office at 260-427-6828 or.
FrogWatch USA is the flagship citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the accrediting organization of zoos nationwide. Participation in FrogWatch USA aligns with the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo’s goal to engage the public in conservation efforts.
“You don’t have to travel to Africa or Asia to participate in real conservation projects,” Weldon says. “FrogWatch USA is a chance for you to get involved right in your own back yard.”
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is one of the area’s major attractions, drawing more than 500,000 visitors every year. The zoo is consistently named a Top Ten Zoo by national media outlets.
The zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily April 23-October 9, 2011. Admission is $13 for adults, $8.50 for children age 2-14, and $10.50 for seniors over age 60. Babies age 1 and under and Zoo Society Members are admitted free.