Learn to identify frogs March 3

Do you like learning about frogs and toads and then spending a few spring evenings searching for places where these gentle amphibians are peeping, croaking and singing? If so, join zoologist Dr. Scott Silver at the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison on Sunday afternoon, March 3, at 2 p.m. to learn about a citizen science program called FrogWatch-USA. Silver, a Garrison resident and director of the Queens Zoo, is seeking volunteers to participate in this well-organized and nationally known survey here in the Philipstown area. 

The purpose of FrogWatch is to assess frog and toad populations through the use of volunteers who are trained to distinguish local frog calls and who will monitor selected wetland areas during the late winter and spring breeding season. Volunteer schedules, said Silver, are very flexible, and the training and monitoring efforts will be both informative and fun.

The March 3 event will essentially be a training program and will consist of learning about the dozen or so different species of frogs and toads that live locally. Participants will need to take a simple test at the end of the session to show they know how to identify frogs and toads by sight and sound, and then the group will work on assigning local wetlands to different volunteers.

All volunteers will receive data forms and instructions on how to record their findings, and they are expected to venture out to their assigned wetlands once or twice a week, after sunset. Silver may schedule a brief get-together at a local pond for all volunteers at the beginning of frog breeding season, which will likely be sometime in mid-March.

This program is being sponsored by the Putnam Highlands Audubon Society, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo. For more information email [email protected] or call Silver at 718-271-3622.

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