Do you love frogs and salamanders? Would you like the chance to get outdoors and see them in the wild? Do you want to help your community support local amphibian populations? Frogs and other amphibians can be found all around Clark County, but their numbers are decreasing, according to Dr. Peter Ritson.
We are looking for volunteers to help the Southwest Washington Amphibian Monitoring Project or SWAMP, an all-volunteer program dedicated to empowering community members to assess and preserve the unique ecological resources for our community.
After this 2-hour training session, where volunteers learn how to identify and count local amphibian eggs, volunteers get the opportunity to survey and monitor the frogs and salamanders in ponds and streams throughout Clark County and beyond.
“We want to educate Clark County residents about the importance of amphibians and their associated habitats,” said Dr. Ritson. “We hope to encourage their protection in several ways: engaging citizens in wildlife protection, providing data essential to species conservation decisions, and increasing public understanding of the importance of wetlands in a rapidly urbanizing region.”
We will be looking for eggs from red-legged and chorus frogs as well as northwestern and long-toed salamanders. Volunteers help us track changes in their population over time by searching for egg masses in the spring, recording the data, and uploading it into our database. Gear is provided.
Our guest speaker this year is Dr. Matt Distler, a Staff Ecologist at Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center. He will be talking about the life cycle of amphibians and his investigation into whether roads, especially high traffic highways, are keeping amphibians from making their seasonal migration to ponds, where they breed.
Our training will be held virtually this year. Participation is free and open to everyone. Pre-registration is required on Eventbrite to receive the zoom link. Please sign up if you are interested in participating this season even if you are unable to make it during the training time. We will send out a recording of the training afterwards.