Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo invites public to join Frogwatch Program

This March 20, 2017 photo from the National Park Service shows a California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii), found in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles. The discovery involving the rare frog has researchers hopping for joy. The NPS says egg masses from the frog were found last week in a stream in the mountains adjacent to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It's evidence that the endangered species is reproducing. (National Park Service via AP)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Are you interested in becoming a frog census observer?

Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo is seeking volunteers who are interested in participating in frog census collection in area wetlands.

The zoo announced earlier this month that they have created a new partnership with the national program Frogwatch USA, an initiative sponsored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

According to the zoo, Citizen-Scientists will make regular visits to wetlands in their neighborhoods once or twice a week and record the frogs and toad calls that they hear. Watches begin a half hour before sunset, which according to Beardsley Zoo Spokesperson Amanda Bolanos, makes the watch ideal for families with older children.

Data gathered from these observations will be reported to a national online database that contributes to amphibian conservation efforts. Beardsley Zoo is also collaborating their participation in the program with The Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk and Yale’s Peabody Museum.

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You might be asking yourself, “Why frogs?”.  According to zoo officials, frogs and toads serve as a critical indicator in the condition of our environmental health.

Jim Knox, education curator at the Beardsley Zoo, believes that new local participation in the FrogwatchUSA program will open new opportunities for Connecticut residents.

Frogwatch USA is a wonderful way for us to engage a new generation of people interested in preserving animal habitats and conservation. This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.”

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According to the zoo, no prior experience is necessary to enroll in the program. One training session is required, and the public can choose from the following upcoming dates:

  • Tuesday, February 20th (Snow Date February 22nd): First Floor Meeting Room, Connecticut Forest and Park Association
  • Thursday, March 1st (Snow Date: March 6): Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport
  • Saturday, March 10th (Snow Date: March 13): Maritime Aquarium; 10 North Water Street, Norwalk
  • Tuesday, March 20th (Snow Date: March 22nd): Environmental Science Center (located next to the Peabody Museum), New Haven

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