Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘CAMP’

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.

NJ’s Frogs And Toads Are “Calling” For Your Help!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
Volunteers Wanted for CAMP project

By: Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager with Conserve Wildlife Foundation

Northern Gray Treefrog @ M. Patterson

Northern Gray Treefrog @ M. Patterson

It’s the heart of the winter season and cold outside, so the furthest thing from your mind is hearing the calls of New Jersey’s frogs and toads. But now is the time when we start getting ready for the Calling Amphibian Project (CAMP) and thinking ahead to the spring of 2015.


The object of CAMP is to assess the distribution, abundance, and health of New Jersey’s amphibians. This is part of a larger initiative called the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) and the data collected in New Jersey will be submitted into the National database. Volunteers participating in this project will be asked to conduct roadside surveys (after dusk) for calling amphibians along designated routes throughout the state. Each 15-mile route with ten stops will be surveyed three times during the Spring and a structured protocol will be followed to determine which nights to survey, how long to survey, which species are calling, and how to estimate the total number of individuals calling at each site.


In 2014, 24 volunteers participated in CAMP and surveyed a total of 23 routes out of 63. We have many dedicated long-term CAMP volunteers. Unfortunately due to different circumstances some can no longer participate so we currently have 37 routes available for the 2015 survey season. If you are interested in learning more about this project, contact Larissa Smith.


This year we will be holding a meeting for CAMP  volunteers in January. The meeting will be a good opportunity to meet other volunteers and the biologists who work on the this project and other amphibian projects. Biologists from CWF, the state ENSP and DLUR will be there to discuss  the two “new” NJ frog species and how CAMP data is being used by the state.


Friday, November 16th, 2012


Northern Gray Treefrog © Thomas Gorman

By: Larissa Smith: Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Manager

When people first hear the word CAMP they might think of going out in the woods and setting up a tent, but CWF’s CAMP project is all about monitoring New Jersey’s amphibian population. CAMP stands for the Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project.

In 2012 33 volunteers participated and surveyed a total of 33 routes out of 63. Volunteers conduct roadside surveys (after dusk) for calling amphibians along designated routes throughout the state. Each 15-mile route is surveyed three times during the spring. Each route has 10 stops, where volunteers stop, listen and record all frog and toad calls for 5 minutes.

In 2012 15 out of the 16 New Jersey amphibian species were detected. The only species not detected was the Eastern Spadefoot.  Northern Spring Peepers were the most common species detected on 31 of the routes while Green Frogs were detected on 22 routes.  Both the American Bullfrog and Southern Leopard Frog were heard on 16 of the routes.

In NJ there are four frog and toad species of conservation concern; the Southern gray Treefrog  is a state endangered species, the Pine Barrens Treefrog  is a state threatened species, and the Carpenter Frog and Fowler’s Toad are both  special concern species. The Southern Gray Treefrog was detected on 2 of the CAMP route, the Pine Barren Treefrog on 3 of the routes, the Fowler’s Toad on 13 of the routes and the Carpenter Frog on 7 of the routes.

CAMP data is entered into the North American Amphibian Monitoring  Program (NAAMP)  database housed by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. All of the occurrence data for these species is  extracted from the NAAMP database, quality checked for validity, and entered into the Biotics database by CWF & ENSP staff. These data will then be used in future versions of the Landscape Project maps.  These maps are used by planners in various state, county, municipal and private agencies to avoid conflict with critical wildlife habitat.

Thank you to all CAMP volunteers!


  • Twenty-five routes are available for the 2013 season
  • For more information on volunteering e-mail:



Dedicated volunteers survey for NJ’s calling amphibians

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Results of the 2011 CAMP season

by Larissa Smith, Biologist & Volunteer Manager

Each spring Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project (CAMP) volunteers take time out of their busy lives to drive  the dark roads of NJ and listen for the calls of NJ’s amphibians.  Not only do these volunteers have to find the time to schedule the three surveys, each in a specific four week period, they need to meet the protocol for the surveys. This means meeting the minimum temperature requirement, which is not the easiest in March, as well as other weather protocol.  Once they find a perfect night to survey the volunteers follow a 15-mile route with 10 stops. They stop and listen for 5 minutes at each stop and record the amphibians they hear.  This can be a frustrating experience depending upon the route.  Noise from cars can make surveying difficult and some of the  routes in more developed areas record no amphibians calling on many of the stops.  Meanwhile volunteers on the less developed routes can often hear a chorus of frogs and toads that can be almost deafening.

I’d like to thank all the dedicated CAMP volunteers for finding the time to survey this season.

Survey Results

Thirty-one volunteers surveyed 33 routes.  Each route is to be surveyed three times during the spring in March, April & June.  A total of 77 surveys were conducted.  All 16 species of NJ frogs and toads were detected on the surveys.  The species that was heard on the most routes was the Northern Spring Peeper which was heard on 31 routes out of 33 that were surveyed. The second most detected species was the Green Frog heard on 22 routes out of the 33 surveyed.  The least detected species was the Spade Foot Toad which was only heard on one route.

Would you like to help next year?
  • Fourteen routes are available for the 2012 season.


Monitoring New Jersey’s Amphibians

Monday, November 29th, 2010
Volunteers needed for 2011 season

by Larissa Smith, Assistant Biologist and Volunteer Manager

Vibrant green and boldly marked, the Pine Barrens treefrog is one of New Jersey’s most beautiful amphibians. © George Cevera

If you enjoy hearing the sounds of frogs and toads and like a bit of adventure then the NJ Calling Amphibian Project (CAMP) might be the right project for you!  Each of the 16 species of frogs and toads in NJ has a unique vocalization or “call” that can be heard during their mating season.  The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ is actively recruiting  volunteers to participate in a statewide Calling Amphibian Monitoring Program (CAMP). Fourteen CAMP routes are currently available for the 2011 season.

  • Click here to learn more about volunteering.
  • For detailed project information, click here.
  • To view results from the 2010 season, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about the CAMP project please contact Larissa Smith at or 609.628.0402