Amphibian monitors gather data from egg mass surveys to help track sensitive species populations and gauge results of restoration at Metro natural areas.
Metro has initiated several floodplain restoration projects in the region since the open spaces, parks and streams bond measure was passed in 1995. To help gauge the effectiveness of these projects, Metro is tracking pond-breeding amphibian populations with the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers.
Beginning in February when pond water closely resembles ice water, volunteers search for jelly-like egg masses to collect information about the distribution and abundance of native pond-breeding amphibians such as the state sensitive northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora aurora). The data collected by the amphibian monitors not only helps Metro assess the effectiveness of current restoration work, but also guides management actions and helps to raise grant funds for ongoing restoration work. Other species tracked include the exotic bullfrog (R. catesbeiana) the northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile), the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and pacific chorus frog (a.k.a. Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla).
Initial findings are encouraging. Volunteers have tracked red-legged frogs as they have expanded throughout nearly 100 acres of newly restored seasonal floodplain wetlands at Metro’s Multnomah Channel Natural Area where Metro partnered with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to install two water control structures. In 2004 volunteers documented more than 100 new red-legged frog masses at its newly restored Gotter Prairie Natural Area. In 2006, volunteers tracked expansions of red-legged frog breeding activity in the Coffee Lake Bottoms Natural Area. For more information about current findings, read Metro's annual amphibian monitoring reports...Download monitoring reports below
Volunteers are asked to conduct at least four surveys during the two months during the peak of the breeding season. Total time commitment ranges between 15-25 hours. In 2006, fifty-seven volunteers surveyed 10 sites contributing over seven hundred hours to the project.
These reports provide a brief overview of the Metro amphibian egg mass monitoring program and present summaries of the data collected through the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Most of the data presented in the report were collected by volunteers working under Metro's direction.
Learn about the sampling methods used to monitor pond-breeding amphibian egg mass abundance and distribution at targeted restoration sites.
See a sample of the datasheet used for egg mass surveys.
To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.