A Project of Woodland Park Zoo's Living Northwest
Woodland Park Zoo is thrilled to offer the opportunity for western Washington residents to get involved with local amphibian conservation for the third season! In 2012, Woodland Park Zoo, Northwest Trek, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium partnered with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) to train volunteers in surveying for amphibian egg masses in local ponds and wetlands for the first time. Participants are trained in the WDFW-approved protocol as well as in identification of the egg masses of eight different amphibian species. One of the species that participants are monitoring for is the endangered Oregon spotted frog, one of several Pacific Northwest species which Woodland Park Zoo is captive headstarting to ensure its survival in the wild.
Participants have access to monitoring tools, including hip waders, digital cameras, and GPS units, and are monitoring for the presence of egg masses once a month from February through August in a local pond or wetland. Data sheets with information on locations of sightings are sent to biologists at WDFW, who use the information to monitor the presence of these species at sites across western Washington.
Want to get involved?
Amphibian monitoring training is an exciting opportunity to get hands-on experience with amphibian conservation while increasing your connection to local ponds and wetlands and contributing to authentic scientific research! The training for the 2015 season will be on Saturday, February 7th.
Sign up here to receive more information about participating in the 2015 season.
Results from the 2013 Amphibian Monitoring Season
2013 was an exciting year for Woodland Park Zoo’s Amphibian Monitoring program! Participants formed teams of four to five people, including a team leader, and were comprised of Woodland Park Zoo staff and volunteers, students in the zoo’s Advanced Inquiry Program Master’s program, ZooCorps teen interns, and community members of all ages. These teams monitored 17 sites in King and Snohomish County, including Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Lands, Snohomish County mitigation sites, Seattle Parks, University of Washington Arboretum and Urban Natural Area, Mercer Slough, and North Seattle Community College. The presence of amphibians, in either eggmass, juvenile, or adult life stages, was found at 14 of the 17 sites. The most common amphibian species sighted were long-toed salamander, northwestern salamander, and Pacific treefrog. Species that were sighted less frequently were northern red-legged frog and rough-skinned newt.
Presence / Absence of Amphibians at 2013 Monitoring Sites
Data analyzed and map created by Jennifer Rydzewski, Amphibian Monitoring participant and Global Field Program Master’s student: