Happy National Amphibian Week!

May 3, 2021 • 11:00 am

by Greg Mayer

May 2-8 is National Amphibian Week, and Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) wants everyone to participate. Here are the themes for each day:

Sunday, May 2: What are Amphibians?
Monday, May 3: The Secret Lives of Amphibians
Tuesday, May 4: Amazing Amphibian Facts
Wednesday, May 5: Threats to Amphibians
Thursday, May 6: Amphibian Tweets from the Field
Friday, May 7: Partnering for Amphibian Conservation
Saturday, May 8: Actions for Amphibians

I began my Amphibian Week by hearing for the first time this year the trilling call of American Toads (Bufo americanus) yesterday afternoon, and I heard them again this morning. They were on my campus at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, but not at the pond I was visiting, but I didn’t try to find out exactly where they were (I was tracking a family of Canada Geese both days). Here’s a calling toad from Pennsylvania, so you know what they sound like.

These were the first toads I’ve heard this season; Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris triseriata) have been calling since March 21 (a late start for them). I’ve featured our local American Toads a few times here at WEIT; here are a couple of featured WEIT toads from 2015.

American toads, Greenquist Woods, UW-Parkside, Kenosha, WI.

I was sent a few amphibian related items for Amphibian Week from PARC affiliates. A salamander coloring page and a scavenger hunt for kids from Southeast PARC (other SEPARC herp education resources here), and a nice color fact sheet about amphibians on military bases from Department of Defense PARC.

Many states and other places do aural surveys as “citizen science” projects, and there are compilations of call recordings for many places. As examples of both, here’s Wisconsin’s state aural survey, and here’s a very nice collection of the frog calls of California.

9 thoughts on “Happy National Amphibian Week!

  1. When we had a drought in 2008, I missed the soothing clicking chorus of the Cape river frog.
    Hence I dug a pond, and they didn’t disappoint. When frogs sing, or click, I feel that maybe, just maybe after all, we are not completely doomed and gloomed 🙂

  2. I heard some toads last week in the pond next to my house. In early April the Spring Peepers start (they start peeping when there is still a thin layer of ice on ponds & often end up hibernation again as the wintery weather returns). I don’t think I’ve heard the green frogs or leopard frogs yet.

  3. There used to be frogs and toads all over south Florida, and when it rained they came out in hordes. But they’ve become so rare that a few months ago, when I saw one near the door of our office in the morning, I took several photos (none very good) just to prove to myself it was real. I don’t know what’s happened to them all.

    1. Amphibians are so susceptible to environmental poisons. It’s often a harbinger of something really wrong.

  4. I’m not sure on the correct French grammar but I often refer to my little shack as Chateau de Crapaud for all the American Toads around in my yard. I also get tree frogs, leopard frogs, cricket frogs, and the occasional bullfrog, but the grumpy bumpy toads are my favorite.

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