From the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
-- In 1984, Iowa was one of the first states to take a vested interest in amphibian residents by conducting frog and toad call surveys at wetlands across the state. It wasn’t until 1991 that the monitoring began in earnest. The survey has been run every year since, racking up 18 years of data.
The most remarkable thing is that the survey is largely run by volunteers, extraordinary folks who part in helping conserve amphibian residents, said Stephanie Sheppard, survey coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Some volunteers have been doing this since day one, she said.
In 2010, Iowa joins the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, which currently has participation from 25 states.
NAAMP provides a statistically defensible program to monitor distributions and relative abundance of amphibians by randomly establishing roadside survey routes. Iowa has roughly 85 of these routes, and each one needs a surveyor.
Surveyors venture out three times during spring and summer nights, drive along their route and stop at 10 different wetland sites, identifying all frogs and toads they can hear. “It’s a fun and different way to explore the outdoors,” said Shepherd.
Persons interested in becoming a NAAMP surveyor can visit http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/naamp/ for more information or contact Shepherd at (515) 432-2823, firstname.lastname@example.org.