Mission: Volunteering –Citizen Science: Frog Watch USA
“Love to wonder…that is the seed of science” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Frog Watch USA is an AZA citizen science program that strives to involve volunteers in large scale data collection of frogs and toads throughout the U.S., as well as offering volunteers the opportunity to learn more about the wetlands surrounding their communities. This program is essential to on-going efforts to raise awareness of the plight of frog and toad populations throughout the country, “Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world and it’s essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines” (Frog Watch USA, 2015). The precarious future of these animals require the collaborative efforts of scientists and citizen scientists to work together to understand these changing populations.
“Frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians are going extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that at least one-third of known amphibian species are threatened with extinction, a rate higher than that for any birds or mammals” – IUCN, 2015
And now YOU can be involved!! The Virginia Living Museum is a registered chapter of FROG WATCH USA with 35 active volunteers!! This is citizen science at its best – our volunteers have learned a great deal about the native frog and toad populations of Hampton Roads. Armed with this knowledge, volunteers travel to registered sites throughout Hampton Roads listening for frog and toads calls. The data collected from these excursions are logged into a national database from which scientists analyze the information and determine where conservation efforts are needed.
The volunteers of the Virginia Living Museum are continuing our mission of conservation through citizen science programs. These programs with continue to grow in importance and highlight the interactive and hands-on opportunities available to volunteers. We are proud of our Frog Watch USA chapter and encourage all volunteers to become a part of museum’s long history of conservation and community involvement.
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“Moving forward, as the pace of large-scale ecosystem change increases, data collected by citizen scientists will continue to grow in importance”