Would you like to listen for frogs?
The chickadees are singing their spring song. Red-Winged Blackbirds have been back for a month. All we need to reassure us that spring has arrived is the sound of frogs!
In the Ottawa Valley, we are fortunate to have a population of a little rare frog called the Chorus frog! It lives in small spring ponds and is among the first frog species to sing. A small but mighty singer, the call of the male resembles the sound of a fingernail being drawn along a metallic comb and, in favourable weather conditions, it can be heard from almost a kilometre away. Not bad for a frog that measures about an inch and a half (3.9 cm) in length!
In 2015, in an effort to encourage landowners to protect western chorus frog habitat, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, in partnership with MAPAQ, MFFP and the Fondation de la faune du Québec, developed a stewardship program and established partnerships with landowners to protect western Chorus frog habitat.
This year, the Nature Conservancy is setting up a network of volunteers to monitor Chorus frog breeding sites by listening to frog calls. There will be a training session on April 11th at 7:00 pm at the Cabane en bois rond in Gatineau (registration required). Frog surveys occur during the breeding season, when males emit a distinctive breeding song of the species. The ideal inventory period for the Chorus frog is usually between mid-April and mid-May. However, this can change from one year to another depending on climatic conditions.
Western Chorus frogs help to control insect populations where they live, as well as being an important food source for their predators who, in turn, are part of the bi-diversity of a healthy environment.
Anyone can register for the Nature Conservancy training session at https://events.natureconservancy.ca/al-event/western-chorus-frog-monitoring-and-survey/
Norway Bay (Pontiac)