Public Lab Research note

Attending Frog Church in Violet, Louisiana

by eustatic | February 09, 2015 18:03 09 Feb 18:03 | #11568 | #11568

[pictured: Larry Bird looking for Cajun Chorus frogs, LAMP 1 2015, eastbank]

What I want to do

Re-post a blog from encouraging participation in a 'classic' citizen-science project, the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.

The Louisiana Master Naturalists are re-invigorating these citizen-science surveys as part of the annual Continuing Education and volunteer hours required for state certification.

Public Lab has worked with LA Master Naturalists in the past, in particular, collaboration in the EPA urban waters program counts toward the required LMN-GNO volunteer hours.

My attempt and results

This January, I traveled to the ditches of Plaquemines and St Bernard to hear the glorious choruses of winter frogs with the Louisiana Master Naturalists, as part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. Among elders, specialists, and interested naturalists with ears, we silently stood in the shoulder of highway 46 and listened for the breeding chorus of Pseudacris fouquettei, The Cajun Chorus Frog.

I'm sure we looked funny, standing still in the dark as cars passed. But our ears were working to find the calls of these little beauties. We also heard the roar of engines moving past, all part of the sonic environment of St Bernard, and something that doesn't seem to bother the raucous frogs.

We also heard the Peep! of "Spring" Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer ) and the stretched-rubber song of Southern Leopard Frogs.

It may seem silly to stand on the roadside at night, but the night sounds are ours as Louisiana citizens. What will happen to the frogs should the waters be polluted or salted? Where do they evacuate? Article IX of the Louisiana Constitution protects and replenishes the esthetic quality of the environment--and so the frogs are protected as they are singing for their succor. At least the judges have to listen to the frogs--will our legislature? Will the state act to protect and restore the Central Wetland homes of these creatures? Are they, like, us, only here for as long as paradise holds out?

Regardless, paradise is here, now; if we are listening.

Scott Eustis is GRN's coastal wetland specialist and a certified master naturalist in the state of Louisiana.

Learn your frog songs here!

Article IX §1. Natural Resources and Environment; Public Policy Section 1. The natural resources of the state, including air and water, and the healthful, scenic, historic, and esthetic quality of the environment shall be protected, conserved, and replenished insofar as possible and consistent with the health, safety, and welfare of the people. The legislature shall enact laws to implement this policy.

LAMP January study session! [TBLinked here]

LAMP Downriver Eastbank Survey List (Bob Thomas cf selection, links to be re-added)

Species listed on quiz by ecoregion/route SPE re-ordered for LESSON AUDIO

Louisiana Coastal (Violet, Phoenix, Venice, Bootheville)

Eastern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) (chorus, individuals) rocks together aza
Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) (individual) aza
Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides) Chirp aza
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) aza
Gulf Coast Toad (Incilius nebulifer) trill / rattle MS
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) baaa (individual) aza
Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) RANK (chorus) aza
Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) Quank (chorus) aza MUST KNOW
Green / Bronze Frog (Lithobates clamitans) Tunk / banjo aza
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) Ouaouaron aza
Pig Frog (Lithobates grylio) Grunt aza
Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) rubbery Chuckle youtube soundcloud (noisy) aza
Pickerel Frog (snore) aza
Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei) thumbing comb (chorus) soundcloud MS

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) waaaa aza
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) aza
unknown gray treefrog species (Hyla chrysoscelis/versicolor)
Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) aza (Yat version of gray treefrog) nhptv
Bird-voiced Treefrog (Hyla avivoca) aza (in swamp)


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