Indicator Species

By participating in this program you will help increase our knowledge of frogs and toads in Canada. Frogs and toads are a part of local biodiversity – the amazing variety of life around us. Conserving biodiversity is essential to the health of the planet and the welfare of humankind. Frogs and toads also have a special role to play in keeping the environment healthy. Perhaps because they live “on the edge” between water and land, and have semi-permeable skin, frogs and toads are very sensitive to pollution and other environmental changes.

Worldwide, many species are declining in numbers or have recently become extinct. Monitoring frog and toad populations is one way to check the health of wetland areas. Frogs and toads can be used as indicator species, because they are vulnerable to changes in the atmosphere, the land, or the water. Tracking changes in the geographic range, the beginning and ending of the calling season, and the population of frogs and toads in Canada can help us understand changes occurring in the environment. The most effective way to track changes in frog and toad populations is to listen for their calls during mating season in the springtime. Male frogs and toads call to protect their territory and attract females. Each species of frog and toad has a very distinctive mating call.