Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘american green treefrog’

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.


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

The American green treefrog found in southern New Jersey!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

© Dave Golden

by Karena DiLeo, Assistant Biologist

A large, breeding population of the American green treefrog, Hyla cinerea, has been discovered in Salem County, New Jersey.  H. cinerea is a common treefrog found in the southeastern United States with a range extending from southern Delaware down the coastal plain to Florida and along the Gulf to Texas.   Although very abundant in sections of its range, it has never been documented in New Jersey.

This serendipitous discovery happened during a routine chytridiomycosis survey in southern New Jersey.  After finishing up a bat acoustics training, MacKenzie (our Private Lands Biologist), offered to help me conduct my night-time amphibian survey.  My intention was to visit a site in the Pinelands but I was surprised by the loud and unidentifiable calling from an impoundment across the road.   As we hiked through dense phrag that had been weaved together by mile-a-minute weed, we were completely oblivious to the clear path to our right that would become apparent in daylight.

Upon reaching the water, the calling was almost deafening and any communication between us was conducted by yelling.  As I waded across the impoundment, the water became very deep and the thick silt slowed movement and caused a fair amount of water to overflow my chest waders.  As the emergent vegetation grew thicker, I began to notice an abundance of small, green treefrogs clasped to the phrag, calling a couple inches above the water.  Confused, as they clearly weren’t peepers and we were out of Pine Barren Treefrog range, I was able to catch one and return to the other side for MacKenzie’s opinion.

© Dave Golden

Upon closer inspection, this frog was clearly not a native to New Jersey.  This little light green frog was about 2 inches in length with small, bright, yellow spots on its back and a pale underside. (This first treefrog did not have the characteristic white side line, but subsequent samples did.)  Luckily, MacKenzie had her camera and was able to take several diagnostic pictures that we would later investigate.

After consulting with several experts and a site visit with ENSP Biologist, Dave Golden, we confirmed that there was a large population of H. cinerea at this site in Salem County.   We are currently conducting more site assessments in the area to determine the green treefrog’s range in New Jersey.   Together with ENSP, we will be starting a genetic study comparing samples collected in New Jersey to local samples found in Delaware in hopes of determining the origin of the New Jersey population.