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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


February 22, 2012

Frogs get a helping hand through a citizen “pond watch” program

Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |

  Photo credit: Dana Payne/Woodland Park Zoo

Through a new amphibian monitoring program, citizen volunteers will hit the ponds at Carkeek Park on Saturday, Feb. 25 to help local frogs and amphibians, such as the Oregon spotted frog shown in photo.


Frogs and other amphibian species in western Washington are about to get their own “pond watch” through a new program that engages volunteer citizens as monitors.

The amphibian monitoring program partners citizens with Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to survey amphibian egg masses in ponds and wetlands in western Washington. The project is     supported by a grant from the NW Zoo & Aquarium Alliance, which promotes collaboration on regional conservation among zoos and aquariums in the Pacific Northwest.

Woodland Park Zoo’s adult volunteer watch group, numbering more than 50, will be armed with hip waders, digital cameras, GPS units, and other monitoring tools for a field training session at Carkeek Park, where they will learn how to identify and document the presence of egg masses of eight different amphibian species. The amphibian enthusiasts already have fulfilled class training at the zoo.

After completing the field training, each volunteer will be tasked with going into the field and monitoring egg masses at sites across western Washington a minimum of once a month through August 2012. 


Saturday, February 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon 


Carkeek Park’s Wetland Trail - Directions to Carkeek


Woodland Park Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff and naturalists providing hands-on training for volunteer group in identifying egg masses. 


Eight amphibian species will be monitored under the new regional program: western toad, Northwestern salamander, northern red-legged frog, Pacific tree frog, Oregon spotted frog, rough-skinned newt, long-toed salamander and American bullfrog. This project will provide critical population data, which over the long term can help determine if amphibian declines or fluctuations are occurring.

The ancient class of amphibians includes salamanders, newts, an obscure group of legless creatures known as caecilians and, of course, the icons, frogs and toads. Because their skin is so permeable, amphibians are known as sentinels of the planet, signaling an early warning when something is not right in the environment.

To celebrate amphibian conservation success stories and highlight how people can help, Woodland Park Zoo will host Leap Day: Amphibian Conservation on February 29 and March 3. Frog-themed crafts, keeper chats on frogs and amphibians, puppet shows, and presentations by national experts will put the spotlight on the amazing world of amphibians and what is being done to save them. Visit for more information.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in Washington state and in 50 countries around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit


Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.