Volunteers needed for citizen science project to help newly discovered frog species

Photo Courtesy of Brian Curry
The Atlantic Coast leopard frog

NEWARK, NJ — Conserve Wildlife Foundation has extended an invitation to the Greater Newark community to train as citizen scientists and help a newly discovered frog species. 

The Atlantic Coast leopard frog was discovered in 2012 in Staten Island. This species has since been located in a number of urban and other areas in New Jersey and New York, though its full range is still unknown. Amphibians are among the most vulnerable and rapidly declining wildlife in the world, facing habitat loss, disease and pollution — and the AC leopard frog faces additional threats in Essex County’s densely populated region.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation invites Newark area residents to join biologist Allegra Mitchell in the Kauffeld’s Calling Frogs Citizen Science Monitoring Project. On Thursday, Jan. 16, at 3:30 p.m., community members are invited to Ridge Street School, 735 Ridge St. in Newark, to join a training session on how to locate the AC leopard frog. No experience is required. Training and data collection materials will be provided. 

Sixth-grade students at the school are partnering on this project as well, as they have been learning about this and other frog species during the school year. Participants at the Jan. 16 training will learn about this new frog species and its habitat, and practice identifying its unique mating call. Training sessions will also discuss threats to amphibian conservation throughout the state. After training, citizen scientists will go out into the field during the frogs’ mating season in early spring to collect data for a statewide effort to find out where this species lives.

Registration for the training is required. Contact Mitchell at allegra.mitchell@conservewildlifenj.org with questions or to register.