FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2019

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Billy Brennan, 314/646-4633, Brennan@stlzoo.org
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639, Childs@stlzoo.org
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703, DePope@stlzoo.org

The Saint Louis Zoo is Looking for a Few Good FrogWatchers

Training sessions set for March 14, 21, 28, 29 and April 15

Jump in and become a FrogWatch USA volunteer with the Saint Louis Zoo! St. Louis-area "citizen scientists" are needed to monitor frogs and toads from their backyards, parks, fields, creeks or just about anywhere. The information gathered can ultimately lead to practical and workable ways to stop amphibian decline.

You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to join FrogWatch. You won't even need to see or touch these amazing amphibians to participate. All you need is an interest in frogs and toads and the time to attend a training session. You'll be asked to make a commitment to monitor a site of your choosing for at least three minutes twice a week throughout the frogs' breeding season, which ranges from about February to August.

"In just a couple of hours, we will train you to distinguish the croaks, peeps and various calls of the 10 most common frog and toad species around the St. Louis area," says Michael Dawson, Conservation Education Liaison at the Zoo and coordinator of the St. Louis chapter of FrogWatch USA. "Breeding calls vary greatly and are often mistaken for birds or insects. Their volume ranges from a soft musical trill to a deafening chorus."

If you're ready to take that leap, sign up for one the following FrogWatch trainings held this spring. Advance registration for training is requested. The program is designed for adults, families, and for students entering grades 9 and up.

2019 Training Schedule:

• Thursday, March 14 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Butterfly House in Faust Park
• Thursday, March 21 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Carriage House at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit
• Thursday, March 28 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Carriage House at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit
• Friday, March 29 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Visitor Center at Brommelsiek Park in Defiance
• Monday, April 15 — 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park

Even if you can't attend a training class or monitor a site, you can still contribute to amphibian conservation by recording frog and toad calls through an app on your smart device. FrogWatch St. Louis is building an online auditory library, which will help researchers track where frogs and toads are being spotted in the St. Louis region.

For more information, training registration, link to the app and to hear some frog calls, visit stlzoo.org/frogwatch. For more information, contact Michael Dawson at dawson@stlzoo.org or (314) 646-4551.

FrogWatch USA is the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' flagship citizen science program. It allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads. For over 10 years, FrogWatch USA volunteers have been trained to enter their information. Ongoing analyses of this data have been used to help develop practical strategies for the conservation of these important species.

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