We are seeking volunteers willing to adopt pre-selected routes in Massachusetts for long-term monitoring. Routes are established by NAAMP based on a national protocol. Volunteers may adopt these pre-selected routes, making modifications according to set protocol only as necessary to provide a safe and viable monitoring route. These routes do not always run through the most wild and scenic areas of Massachusetts. Yet, it is important that all routes are covered. In order to ensure the scientific credibility of the monitoring data and maintain consistency with the national program, volunteers are not free to establish their own routes.
The NAAMP web site provides sound recordings for each of the frog species that occur in Massachusetts so that volunteers can familiarize themselves with the calls of local amphibians. Volunteers must take and pass a web-based frog call quiz each year.
Monitoring routes are run four times each year during the amphibian calling season. These runs are done at night, according to a set protocol, and usually take 1.5 hours to complete plus travel time. The most reliable data are obtained when they are collected year after year by the same volunteers. Thus it is our preference to recruit volunteers that imagine that they might stick with a route for an extended period of time.
There is no guarantee that monitoring routes won’t pass through suburban or urban areas that offer little excitement for the effort. There will be, however, a satisfaction that comes from contributing to a large-scale project that will provide, for the first time, data that will allow us to reliably track amphibian populations and assess their status and trends.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Massachusetts Calling Amphibian Survey contact:
Scott Jackson, Coordinator
Massachusetts Calling Amphibian Survey (NAAMP)
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
If this is more of a commitment than you are prepared to make, there is
another program called FrogWatch USA that might interest you. FrogWatch
USA is a program that allows volunteers to monitor sites of their own
choosing and contribute data and observations to a national database.
This program is less scientific than NAAMP but has the potential to
generate some useful information about amphibian populations and