Looking for volunteers for a western chorus frog inventory in the Pontiac
Article published on 11 April 2021
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The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for volunteers to participate in an inventory of the chorus frog in the Ottawa Valley (City of Gatineau and MRC Pontiac). The main purpose of this inventory is to collect data that will provide an indication of the status of the chorus frog locally and contribute to the monitoring of the species over time. It is the smallest, rarest and most threatened of the province’s frogs. Because of their small size, chorus frogs often go unnoticed except when they sing in spring; a song that ensures their reproduction and, therefore, enables their populations to be maintained.

Once abundant throughout most of the Ottawa Valley, the chorus frog has become very rare. Although the population of this amphibian was numerous some 50 years ago in Quebec, the disappearance of habitats due to urban development, drainage and levelling of agricultural land, has led to a decline of the species in Quebec.

Become a chorus frog Ambassador
In collaboration with the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Quebec, NCC aims to set up an ambassador program for the annual monitoring of the western chorus frog using listening stations for the frog’s breeding songs. Several activities will be conducted between April and May. The first meeting will be a virtual training session organized to familiarize participants with identifyin the different species and the methodology for conducting the inventory. Volunteers who become ambassadors will be joining a network that is taking concrete action for the western chorus frog and helping to protect the species and its habitats. Volunteers will play an essential role through their involvement in this fun and educational activity. They will also be contributing to the success of NCC’s mission. Becoming a volunteer can be an exciting adventure for anyone who wants to get involved and put their skills to work for nature conservation.

A first virtual meeting
The training will take place during virtual meetings on April 13, 2021, at 6 p.m. (French) and April 14, 2021, at 6 p.m. (English). It will allow anyone interested to learn more about the western chorus frog and to develop their ability to recognize frog species by listening to the song of the males, which emit a distinctive sound depending on the species. All in all, a simple introduction to the same inventory protocol used by experts. Trained and informed participants will then be able to select the area(s) to be surveyed so they can monitor western chorus frog songs independently during the best window of opportunity for detection, according to their personal schedule.

Contact Francisco Retamal Diaz, project coordinator : francisco.diaz natureconservancy.ca

The full interview with Francisco Retamal Diaz is available here.

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