The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program is having a trouble finding volunteers in northern Vermont to help with the annual survey of frog populations.
Volunteers learn to recognize about a dozen different frogs by their spring calls, then go out on three evenings over three months to listen for the amphibians.
Scientists have been worried for a number of years about the global decline of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians — a puzzle that has been blamed on habitat destruction, disease, pesticide use and other possible causes.
Collecting background data on populations is an essential element in tracking species decline (or recovery) — the grunt work of science to which trained volunteers can contribute.
I’ll bet there are few Vermonters who can’t identify a spring peepers, but for the rest, the U.S. Geological Survey has excellent recordings of frog calls on line.
To learn more, go to www.pwrc.usgs.gov/naamp/index.cfm . If you’d like to enlist, send email to Vermont’s coordinator, Joe Przypek, firstname.lastname@example.org. Among the routes still available are ones in Starksboro, St. Albans, Barre, Ryegate and Topsham.