What you always wanted to know about Frogwatch.net


What is it?

The Southwest Florida Amphibian Monitoring Network represents a diverse group of citizen volunteers organized for the purpose of monitoring amphibians (mostly frogs) in southwest Florida. Early in 2000 several individuals began discussing the possibility of setting up an amphibian monitoring program in Southwest Florida based on the guidelines developed by the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP).  Subsequently it was decided to make an effort to launch a program and on April 15, 2000 a “kick off” workshop was held at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. The project
was co-sponsored by the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, Florida Gulf Coast University and the Audubon Society of Southwest Florida. 

The basic approach is to establish a route with 12 predetermined "stops" along a roadway. Volunteers monitor the "stops" at designated dates by listening for the frogs that are calling at each "stop" (refer to protocols on the web site menu). The information is sent to the network coordinator who summarizes the information from all routes and shares it with the NAAMP.


Why do we do it?

The worldwide decline in amphibians is a phenomena that is poorly understood and may have significant implications  for entire ecosystems. Amphibians have been identified as important indicators of ecosystem health due to their physiology and diversity of ecological requirements. The planetary decline in many species of amphibians has resulted in an increased level of research into their life histories. Scientists and conservation organizations all over the world have initiated monitoring projects to document the status of amphibian populations and to gain insight into why some species are declining (note the web links provided on this site). In Southwest Florida very little information exists on amphibian diversity, distribution, abundance and ecology. This is unfortunate since this region is experiencing rapid land development that has led to significant loss of wetland communities on which amphibians depend. All but two species of amphibians in Southwest Florida are considered indicators of hydrologic change because they are dependent on water or wetland habitats for successful reproduction.

Information gathered from this project will be used to help understand the occurrence, distribution and ecological requirements of frogs in this region. In addition, the information will help us understand the implications of land conversion, climate change and other potential stressors on frogs occurring in southwest Florida and to ultimately gauge the health of the regions wetland communities.


How do I get involved?

You can become a frog watch volunteer by contacting the program coordinator (John Cassani, 239-633-7274 jcassani@comcast.net). New volunteers have the option of joining an existing route (note existing route menu item) or starting a new route in which they will become the route leader.  If you choose to join an existing team, please contact the route leader for the team you wish to join. The existing route menu item provides route leader contact information for existing routes.





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