FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (Feb. 14, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is calling all folks with two good ears, one free evening, and an interest in learning more about frogs and toads to participate in a Calling Amphibian Survey Program (CASP) workshop.
The workshop, which is $15, will be held at Camp Agape in Fuquay-Varina on Feb. 28 from 5 to 9 p.m. Participants will start the workshop by learning frog and toad call identification techniques and CASP protocols before heading outdoors to put their newly acquired listening skills to the test.
Jeff Hall, a biologist with the Commission, will lead the workshop. Hall is coordinator of the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, a partnership dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians and their habitats.
Hall said that participants will hear several species of frogs and toads, based on past workshops conducted at the park, which sits on 624 acres of rolling hills, streams and ephemeral ponds — habitat favored by a diverse range of amphibians.
“Late winter and early spring is a really good time to hear many of our frogs and toads calling,” Hall said. “We’ll possibly hear spring peepers and upland chorus frogs, and there’s always a chance for leopard frogs, pickerel frogs and others.”
The Wildlife Commission conducts CASP workshops annually to create a larger pool of potential volunteers to help with statewide frog and toad monitoring and conservation.
“We are recruiting workshop participants to become CASP volunteers,” Hall said. “It’s a pretty simple process that doesn’t take much time at all but provides us with a wealth of information that helps us figure out how well — or how poorly — frog and toad populations are faring, both in numbers and in distribution.”
CASP volunteers adopt a survey route, stop at 10 spots on the route for three nights during three separate calling windows covering a 6-month period, listen for five minutes and write down any frog and toad calls they hear. They submit their data online or by mail before Oct. 1.
Hall, along with Mike Campbell, an educator with the Commission, will conduct a second CASP workshop at Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve in Charlotte on March 15.
For more information about the workshop, contact Mir Youngquist-Thurow at Camp Agape, ACEed@agapekurebeach.org or 919-552-9421, ext. 210.
For more information about N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, visit www.ncparc.org.