A core component of the zoo’s mission is “inspiring people to care.” One of the ways that inspiration manifests itself is through the grassroots conservation efforts of zoo fans like YOU. Back in March, the zoo trained local volunteers on a program called FrogWatch USA. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) started FrogWatch USA more than ten years ago a way for “individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads.” (Source: https://www.aza.org/frogwatch/)
This type of grassroots, research-driven conservation is also known as “citizen science.” Kathy Terlizzi, Volunteer Coordinator with the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo oversees the zoo’s FrogWatch USA program. Terlizzi trains new volunteers every year in March so that they can observe and report on frog calls throughout the season. Terlizzi states that, “Volunteers are out in Fort Wayne right now listening for frogs and reporting their results online. They’ll be uploading their data all summer long.”
Frogs are an important part of our ecosystem, and FrogWatch USA is helping to conserve many species around the country. It’s not all work, though. Terlizzi notes that, “The fun they have while participating is an added bonus!”
Do you want to learn more about Indiana frogs and hear their calls? Click here for the AZA’s Indiana Frogs page. You could join us in March to train as a FrogWatch citizen scientist!