Amphibian Monitoring Program
During the first warm, rainy nights of spring, over half a dozen different species of frogs and salamanders make a mass migration from their wintering sites in upland habitats to vernal pools and other suitable breeding grounds. Due to habitat fragmentation by roads, a vast number of frogs and salamanders are inadvertently killed each year trying to cross through the traffic. Road mortality is painfully high, destroying entire populations or limiting their success rate. Add to this increased development and higher road usage, and the scales are tipped squarely against these animals. The objectives of this program are to educate the public about this little-known mass migration, and to recruit volunteers to assist our four-legged friends in their dangerous journey.
In spring 2005 NBNC piloted an amphibian rescue program. Over 60 central Vermonters came to an informational training at the nature center to learn how to help amphibians safely cross roads. Over 30 volunteers sent in reports from locations throughout the region. In spring 2006, we brought our mission to other communities, hosting training sessions in Northfield, Stowe, Jericho, and Waterbury. In 2007 we held trainings in Waitsfield, Calais, Roxbury and Marshfield where we identified new crossing sites and recruited new volunteers. More new communities hosted trainings in 2008-2012, with over 400 people attending trainings.
After a relatively dry start to the month, where the few instances of rain seemed to always begin late at night, conditions are perfect tonight for amphibians to be moving. And with rains predicted to persist into the evening hours, amphibians will find busier roads tonight than they have earlier this season.
If you have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get outside and help some amphibians, tonight is the night! Here are three steps to get ready to head out and monitor a road crossing site:
Lastly, for the latest on amphibian activity throughout the state, and to participate in the conversation by adding in your observations, check out the Vermont Vernal Pools google group.
Good luck out there tonight, let us know what you find!
4/8/15 - In trying to make training resources for amphibian crossing volunteers more available, I have created over 50 minutes of videos highlighting the content that has been offered in our training sessions over the past 8 years.
These videos and other resources can be watched by first-time volunteers to learn all you need to know about monitoring a crossing site, or as a refresher for the seasoned volunteer. In either case, I welcome your feedback and advice on how to further improve this resource.
4/7/15 - More training resources have now been added! We now have over 50 minutes of videos uploaded and more links to a few additional resources are on the way!
See older news stories.
Big Night - TONIGHT!
Today, April 22, we expect widespread amphibian activity on roadways across Vermont.
Please return all data sheets, maps, and photos to:
Volunteers Needed for
The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) is looking for volunteers in Vermont to take part in a calling frog survey this spring and summer. Routes are available around the state and no experience is necessary. For more information, visit http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/naamp/ or call Larry Clarfeld at (802) 229-6206.
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