Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘frogs’

That’s a Wrap for the Pilot Season of a New Collaborative Project with NJDEP Focusing on Pine Barrens Tree Frogs

Friday, August 12th, 2022

by Christine Healy

CWF intern Connor Zrinko inspects a large tadpole he collected while dipnetting.

At quick glance, Pine Barrens tree frogs (PBTF), with their vivid green backs, deep purple sides, and vibrant yellow thighs, might put folks in mind of Central and South American rainforests. Based on their visage, they could, theoretically, be at home beside red-eyed tree frogs and poison arrow frogs – the poster children of amphibian diversity. They have occupied that spotlight themselves. In fact, in his 1983 Endangered Species series, American pop artist Andy Warhol chose to immortalize the PBTF in silkscreen as the lone representative of herptiles. But these tiny beauties do not favor the tropics. Occurring in three disjunct populations across the eastern United States including the Florida/Alabama panhandle, the Carolinas and, naturally, New Jersey, PBTF are habitat specialists. They reside in seepage bogs where the water is relatively acidic, due to the presiding vegetation. Sadly, as is the case with many animals reliant on very specific landscape features, habitat loss and fragmentation pose a concern for the persistence of this species, which is listed as threatened in New Jersey.

CWF is very excited to be partnering with NJDEP, Division of Watershed Protection and Restoration on a long-term study aimed at better understanding the effect of development on vulnerable species. We will measure abundance, adult health and survival, and larval growth of Pine Barrens tree frogs within a population impacted by encroaching construction to evaluate whether current wetland regulations, including buffer size, are sufficient for species conservation.

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Amphibian Crossing Project on PBS EcoSense for Living

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Wildlife habitats all over the country have been broken into ever smaller pieces by human development, making it challenging for animals to safely find food, mates or a place to make a nest or den. This is especially true in New Jersey, which has more people per square mile than any other state by far.

The PBS EcoSense for Living episode ”Wildlife Crossings” has captured the challenges habitat fragmentation poses to wildlife, along with the amazing work that scientists, engineers, and wildlife managers are doing to help. Projects supporting New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) initiative, including CWF’s Amphibian Crossing Project, are featured beginning at 14:10.

On warm, rainy spring evenings salamanders, frogs and toads venture out for the most eventful nights of their year. They have but one goal – to make it to a vernal pool to breed. But between them and the pool is a road, filled with cars barreling along, completely oblivious to their big plans.

A single vehicle can crush dozens of these slow-moving animals as they try to make it across the road. From the driver’s seat they may look like mere twigs, leaves, or raindrops bouncing off the road. With high mortality rates year after year, it doesn’t take long for a population to nose-dive.

The Amphibian Crossing Program helps hundreds of salamanders, frogs and toads make that hazardous journey so they can have their big night. We are also assisting NJDFW in preparing for a wildlife crossing structure system consisting of under-road tunnels and guide fencing to help amphibians at our busiest migration site.

Successful “critter crossings” at this priority site could pave the way for many other projects, allowing salamanders, frogs, and toads (as well as snakes, turtles, and other small animals) to safely and independently cross between their upland habitats and breeding pools each spring. To see how the Amphibian Crossing Project fits in with other statewide projects supporting wildlife habitat connectivity see Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ).

Want to help? Volunteers for the Amphibian Crossing Project must complete a training session. If you are interested in being a part of next year’s project, please contact allegra.mitchell@conservewildlifenj.org.

Resources

Newark Area Volunteers Needed to Help Frogs

Monday, January 13th, 2020

Greater Newark community invited to January 16 training
with Ridge Street School students to locate Atlantic Coast Leopard Frogs

The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Photo by Brian R Curry

Conserve Wildlife Foundation is excited to extend an invitation to the Greater Newark community to train as citizen scientists and help a newly discovered frog species. 

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Citizen Science Project: Get in the Field for Frogs

Monday, December 9th, 2019

by: Alison Levine, Communications Coordinator

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog. Photo by Brian R. Curry.

Amphibians are among the most vulnerable and rapidly declining wildlife groups in the world. Do you want to get out in the field and help frogs here in New Jersey? 

Join CWF biologist Allegra Mitchell and be a part of the Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs Citizen Science Monitoring Project.

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Nature’s Chorus: Amphibian Calls

Monday, August 31st, 2015
Conserve Wildlife Foundation Volunteers Survey For New Jersey Frog and Toads

by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

Green Frog photo by CAMP volunteer Lorraine Catt

Green Frog photo by CAMP volunteer Lorraine Catt

Each spring, our Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project (CAMP) volunteers drive along a fifteen mile route after dusk, stopping at ten established stops along the route. They are hoping to hear the calls of some of New Jersey’s 17 species of frogs and toads. If they are lucky they’ll get to hear a chorus of several different species, sometimes so loud it’s almost deafening. Other times, they strain to hear a lone call from far away and many times they only hear the passing cars. It takes a dedicated volunteer to spend the time surveying and hearing only a few or no calls. But even the negative data is important, amphibians face many threats in New Jersey and establishing a long term database is key to learning about the population.

 

This season, twenty-one routes were surveyed and 16 of the 17 New Jersey frog and toad species were heard. The Eastern Spadefoot Frog was not heard this season. This year, the American Green Treefrog was recorded on one route in Salem County. This species of frog was first discovered in New Jersey in June 2011 in Salem County. The Northern Spring Peeper was heard on 19 out of the 21 routes, with Green Frogs heard on 15 routes and Northern Gray Treefrogs heard on 14 routes.

Gray Tree frog@ CAMP volunteer Marilyn Patterson

Gray Treefrog photo by CAMP volunteer Marilyn Patterson

There are 63 CAMP routes through out New Jersey. Currently 34 routes are available for the 2016 CAMP season. If you are interested in volunteering for the CAMP project, please contact Larissa Smith via email.

 

Learn more:

 

Larissa Smith is the Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.