From late January through April, wade through ponds and wetlands in parks and natural areas throughout the metro region to count frog and salamander egg masses.
Volunteers track four native pond-breeding amphibians: the Pacific chorus frog, Northwest salamander, long-toed salamander and Northern red-legged frog, which is listed by the state as under threat.
The four amphibians serve as indicator species, which can be used to help gauge whether regional restoration efforts are helping more native amphibians thrive. Surveying for the egg masses each winter helps scientists survey their numbers as well as the overall health of wetlands in the region. The information collected from volunteers also helps secure grant funding for future restoration work.
Volunteers conduct at least four separate surveys, totaling approximately 12 to 25 hours during these months.
Volunteers are encouraged to provide their own transportation, though carpooling to sites can be arranged from Metro Regional Center in the Lloyd District. Monitoring occurs throughout the week and on weekends.
While field experience is appreciated and welcomed, training is also provided every January on amphibian egg mass identification, survey techniques and field methods.
Amphibian Surveyors: Amphibian surveyors search for, identify, and count amphibian egg masses using specific protocols and data sheets.
Amphibian Survey Crew Leader: Crew leaders lead a crew of 4-8 trained volunteers of varying experience levels on amphibian 3 egg mass surveys.
Water Watcher: Water watchers collect water levels data on a weekly basis to help us improve the effectiveness of the community science program.
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