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Montgomery County Goes On Frog Watch

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 1/8/2014, 2:45pm  ET

American Toad, via Montgomery County DEPMontgomery County will hold a training session to teach volunteers how to identify frog and toad calls in an effort to help preserve the amphibian’s local population.

The county’s Department of Environmental Protection has launched a Montgomery County chapter of FrogWatch USA, a nationwide program run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Frogs are both predators and prey in wetland areas and a healthy frog population is understood as a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem.

But frog populations are declining significantly and it’s estimated that at least one-third of amphibian species (frogs, toads, salamanders and newts) are on the verge of extinction, mostly because of pollution.

Volunteers will be taught to distinguish frog and toad calls at wetland sites and then report that data online. It goes into a database that organizers hope will highlight the importance of conservation efforts.

The county’s first training session is set for Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Rockville Memorial Library and it’s already booked to capacity.

Most frogs and toads in Montgomery County are found in early spring in seasonal pools of rain water or stormwater wet ponds. Check out the county’s site on frogs for photos and sample calls.

Photo via Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection