Frog Song: Listening for the Western Chorus Frog
On a bright and sunny day in early May, Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) volunteer Jason Smyrlis conducted a Western Chorus Frog (WCF) survey at John Earle Chase Memorial Park along the shores of Gannon’s Narrows in Trent Lakes.
A KLT volunteer since 2015, Jason noted that species monitoring is an important part of conservation. “I care deeply about the natural world…I’m happy to do my part.”
Kawartha Land Trust volunteers and staff have been participating in a monitoring program to track occurrences of Western Chorus Frogs on and adjacent to KLT-protected areas.
This project is in collaboration with Blazing Star Environmental (BSE). The organization has been running a long-term monitoring program to track populations of WCF across Ontario.
Typically, BSE’s monitoring sites have been focused on roadsides and limited to habitats adjacent to them; however, by partnering with KLT, we have been able to give them access to populations and potential habitats on KLT properties while they share their wealth of frog knowledge and volunteers with us.
Dedicated volunteers like Jason are assigned sites based on habitat surveys showing the existence of suitable habitats for WCF. Each site is surveyed a minimum of three times per calling season.
The results of the surveys will help Blazing Star Environmental bolster their data set for their long-term monitoring program and reinforce the importance of KLT properties and their role in helping to protect species at risk and their habitats.
Quick WCF facts:
-Western Chorus Frogs typically do not move more than 300m, so habitat fragmentation has a significant impact on this species.
-Western Chorus Frogs are Ontario’s second-smallest frog. They only breed in temporary or permanent bodies of water that do not have fish in them.
Article published May 16, 2022. Photo: Volunteer Jason Smyrlis/KLT.