Did you know that frogs are considered an early indicator species? And no, it’s not because they’re extremely courteous drivers.
It means they can provide important information about the health of our waterways, wetlands and outback. Which is why monitoring their whereabouts is so important.
This is where you can help. Download the FrogSpotter app on your mobile phone or tablet and upload recordings of frogs in your local area. These will then be reviewed by a panel of experts to identify.
Or you can use the FrogWatch SA website, which does the same thing but also gives you access to recordings from other people and lots of learning resources.
For any recordings you submit, you’ll even be provided with a brief report detailing the calls and a rough idea of the number of frogs that can be heard.
If you’re a keen frog spotter already – or you’d like to be – you can also become a local frog ID expert through fun and interactive online training that’s available on the website. This allows you to help identify recorded frog calls that have already been submitted.
New species are still being described – so you really never know what you’re going to find.
It’s super easy – when you’re next near your local creek, river, wetland – or any other body of water for that matter – open the FrogSpotter app on your phone or tablet.
You then need to record the frogs for 3-5 minutes, which will give an accurate assessment of frogs at a specific time and place. If you don’t hear any frogs, still record for the same length of time anyway – yes, that may mean recording silence.
This is because it’s just as useful to record the absence of frogs as it is to record the presence of frogs, as it can provide an insight into where frogs aren’t breeding, maybe because the location is not suitable.
You might even want to get involved with making these areas more frog-friendly through planting local natives or rehabilitation works.
Where does the data go?
Species that are recorded will be sent to the Biological Database of South Australia and the Atlas of Living Australia, to make sure that the information is available to as many people as possible.
These databases are used to make important decisions about native animal populations, so just by having some fun with recording frogs, you’ll really be making a much bigger impact.
The FrogSpotter app and Frog SA website were developed and are run byNatural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges, with funding support from Zoos SA, Beach Energy, City of Onkaparinga, and Natural Resources SA Murray Darling Basin.
Image courtesy of Jo-Anna Robinson