Just like humans, frogs speak different languages. Well, maybe they don’t actually speak but you can certainly tell the difference between different frog species if you listen closely.
The Credit River Watershed is home to ten species of frogs and toads. During the spring and summer, the males of each species call to attract females to breed and lay eggs in the water. Different species call at different times in the year.
Some species, like the wood frog, lay their eggs in pools or puddles that dry up as the weather warms. Wood frogs call earlier in the year, so tadpoles have time to grow and develop into frogs before the pool dries up. Green frogs take a year or more to develop from tadpole into frogs. This means they must lay their eggs in wetlands that have water all year round. Green frog calls later in the year when water is usually at its lowest levels which helps to make sure the eggs will be laid in a wetland that has water year-round.
Frogs can change the timing of their calls during the year depending on the weather and the condition of their habitat. Every year, staff from CVC’s Integrated Watershed Monitoring Program (IWMP) place audio recorders in wetlands around the watershed to record frog calls. By listening to wetlands, we learn when, where and which species are calling.
Frogs tell us a lot about the health of our wetlands because they live on land and in water, so the condition of both habitats affects them. By monitoring the calls of frog populations, we can monitor the health of wetlands.
So, what does a hopping wetland sound like throughout the year? Check out the list below with sound clips from our long-term monitoring program! For more information on IWMP, visit our IWMP StoryMap Collection.
|Frog Species||Calling Period|
|Wood Frog||Mid-March to Early May|
|Western Chorus Frog||Late March to Early May|
|Spring Peeper||Late March to mid-June|
|Northern Leopard Frog||Early April to Late May|
|American Toad||Mid-April to Late June|
|Pickerel Frog||Mid-April to mid-July|
|Grey Treefrog||Mid-May to mid-July|
|Green Frog||Late May to mid-July|
|American Bullfrog||Late May to mid-July|
|Mink Frog||Late May to mid-July|
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By Crystal Kelly, Acting Specialist, Watershed Monitoring