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Hi Lonesome Chapter (Cole Camp)

2008 and 2009 Capstone Project

Toad and Frog Call Surveys
Hi Lonesome / Green Ridge Conservation Opportunity Area

Sponsors: Missouri Department of Conservation

Contact: Jeff Briggler, jeff.briggler@mdc.mo.gov  573-522-4115 ext. 3201

Description: Participants monitor toads and frogs on publicly owned grasslands within the Hi Lonesome/Green Ridge Conservation Areas. Monitoring protocol follows the MDC Anuran Calling Survey designed by Jeff Briggler, MDC Herpetologist. The two survey areas are the Green Ridge Conservation Area and Cole Camp/Sedalia Conservation Area. Survey window times: April 15 - May 15 and May 31 – June 30 - after sunset.

Working individually or as a team to complete individual surveys, participants record field data and provide results for Jeff Briggler, Steve Cooper (Area Manager) and Emily Horner, as well as update the Missouri Heritage Database records for any location of a Northern crawfish frog.

Data gathered via this Capstone project is used to document species richness and abundance on publicly owned grasslands within the COA. When repeated every five years, survey information will document long term trends of individual species populations.

While birds and plants provide valuable insight into the status and function of the available habitat within the COA, frog and toad numbers also provide an indicator of landscape health and habitat availability. The loss of breeding habitat, chronic amphibian diseases and excessive use of insecticides (and perhaps pesticides) has caused some amphibian populations to decline.

Estimated time to complete the project:  Green Ridge Conservation Areas: 1-2 nights to complete survey of the CAs during each “Survey Window”, for a total of 2-4 nights for both calling windows. (For 2009 – there will be a third calling window for a total of 3-6 nights over the course of 4 months).

Cole Camp/Sedalia Conservation Areas: 1-2 nights to complete survey of the CAs during each “Survey Window”, for a total of 2-4 nights for both calling windows. For 2009. there will be a third calling window for a total of 3-6 nights over the course of four months).

If you want to do both focus areas and survey all of the Conservation Areas, it will require a minimum of 4 nights (maximum 8 nights) from April 15th – June 30th.

Time Frame: Monitoring begins in April and continues through June. The individual Conservation Areas are visited once during each of the two remaining “Survey Windows”. Data compilation and Heritage Database record documentation requires additional time to complete.

Resources Provided: Survey maps and descriptions, frog and toad call identification tapes/CDs, identification hints, MDC Anuran Calling Survey description and field data sheets will be provided by Jeff Briggler, Emily Horner or through Wildlife Diversity Funds made available to support citizen science monitoring within this Conservation Opportunity Area. Additional resources for learning frog and toad calls, including practice quizzes, are available on the NAAMP web site.

Volunteers should dress appropriately and bring their own drinking water (coffee) and food, as well as flashlights.