Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I am already involved in a local monitoring programme?
- Why should I continue monitoring if I do not hear any calls?
- Several times I have monitored an area with frogs calling, but lately I have not heard any calls. Should I continue monitoring?
- Is my data still useful if I only monitor once or twice a week? By monitoring this infrequently, I may miss the breeding calls of some species entirely. Won’t my data indicate that no species are present?
- Is it necessary to include Latitude – Longitude coordinates on the monitoring sheet? How do I find them?
- What if I monitor for more than one site?
- What if I would like to become a more dedicated Frogwatch Observer by monitoring each day or every other day?
- I think that I heard a frog last night, but I wasn’t sure. Should I mark it down on the sheet and send it in just in case?
- Why should I use the website or Frogwatch Hotline to submit my data.
- Why are frogs important?
- Why are you not monitoring salamanders?
A. You should also submit your data to Frogwatch-Ontario. Frogwatch-Ontario shares its data with other monitoring programmes when contacted, in order to help other organizations determine which frogs and toads are found in their community or watershed, as well as how species distributions may have changed over time. Frogwatch supports amphibian monitoring programmes that are community-based and reflect local data collection needs. By inputting data into the Frogwatch-Ontario database, local monitoring programmes can compare their data with other organizations and individuals, and also be recognized across Canada as part of the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network’s Frogwatch Canada progamme.
A. It is equally important to collect data from places that don’t have frogs as places that do. This is how we can determine that frogs are no longer found in areas that once supported healthy populations. Wetland habitats without amphibians may indicate a disturbed or degraded environment. With continued monitoring, we may be able to determine (and celebrate) if frogs or toads have moved into that area once again.
A. Yes. If possible, continue monitoring once a week until the end of June. The weather may be too cool or dry for certain species to begin or continue calling. However, no calls may also indicate a short- term loss or the first record of permanent loss and decline.
Q. Is my data still useful if I only monitor once or twice a week? By monitoring this infrequently, I may miss the breeding calls of some species entirely. Won’t my data indicate that no species are present?
A. That may be true, but the goal of this program is to collect data over the long term. Next year, it is unlikely that you will miss the calls. Even if you do, with monitors in close proximity to your wetland, they are likely to be monitoring on a different day in the week and therefore will capture the calls. All data collected is relevant since we are looking at results over the long-term. Data collected at more frequent, regular intervals is most useful, but if you are only able to monitor occasionally (like when at the cottage), please continue to send us your monitoring information.
A. Latitude ñ Longitude coordinates are the most important information you can provide to us. It is the only way to map your calls and place your data in our database. Determine your coordinates by clicking on the "Look up Location" button when registering online. Once you have determined your latitude ñ longitude coordinates for that site, the coordinates for that site will be automatically entered each time you submit data using your Frogwatch Observer number. If you are really stuck, submit your data sheet with the latitude ñ longitude field blank, and we will attempt to determine your location.
A. That is excellent! But remember that each site has its own unique latitude ñ longitude coordinate, and requires its own unique Observation Station number.
A. You are welcome to submit data to Ontario-Frogwatch as often as you wish. The more information we can gather the better. For more dedicated observers, we may also refer you to other programmes that meet your skills and expertise.
A. No! Try to confirm what you heard on the following night. Listen to the frog calls again, either on the tape, on our website or by contacting the Frogwatch Hotline at 1-888-31FROGS with the province number 18 followed by the pound sign (or the # sign). This should help you to re-familiarize yourself with the calls. If you confirm the species of frog or toad that you heard, report it. If you are unable to confirm what you hear, it is best not to report an incorrect sighting.
A. There are several reasons why you should use the internet or hotline to submit data. First, we have only a few people to operate the entire program. Using the website or phone system allows automatic entry and checks into the databases, eliminating data entry time from staff. Secondly, mailing and faxing data requires paper. Ontario – Frogwatch wishes to reduce paper demands. However, we wish to make monitoring as easy as possible, so submit your data using the best method for you.
A. As amphibious creatures, frogs act as powerful "conveyor belts," moving nutrients from ponds and lakes onto the land. Although small and often unseen, frogs are very numerous. A single frog can lay thousands of eggs, most of which, if they hatch, will end up as critical prey for other species of birds, mammals and reptiles. In turn, frogs are major predators of invertebrates, including many insects considered pests by farmers and gardeners.
A. Salamanders do not call, however, we want your salamander sightings too! After consulting the salamander ID page at www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond, type in the species name in the Other Observations text box on the data submission form.
For more information about Amphibians in Canada visit the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-a-Pond and Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network websites.