FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program established in 1998 to provide individuals, groups and families with opportunities to learn about wetlands in their communities by reporting on the calls of local frogs and toads.
Though this program has been managed by many organizations over the years, in early 2022, the AZA appointed the Akron Zoo as the new managing organization for FrogWatch USA.
FrogWatch USA encourages volunteers to collect and contribute information about the breeding calls of frogs and toads to a national dataset that is publicly available online. The information collected by thousands of FrogWatch USA volunteers across the United States is then analyzed to inform the development of environmental protection and amphibian conservation strategies.
Frogs and toads have served as important cultural symbols for centuries; this can range from symbolizing fertility in ancient Egypt, luck in Japan, and rain gods for some Native American cultures to Kermit the Frog's status as a modern-day celebrity. Frogs and toads have been vitally important in the field of human medicine and compounds from their skin are currently being tested for anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.
Frogs and toads also play an important role, serving as both prey and predator, in wetland ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world and it's essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines. Learn more about how the AZA community is involved in amphibian conservation.
The FrogWatch USA Community
Volunteers are the foundation of the FrogWatch USA community - these trained individuals listen for frogs and toads during evenings from February through August and submit their observations to a national online database. Monitoring through FrogWatch USA can be an enriching experience that allows one to connect with nature and also contribute to amphibian conservation efforts.