Amphibian Monitoring: Migration Mapping
What do volunteers for Migration Mapping do?
There are two types of volunteers for the Migration Mapping:
Volunteer A: Participates in one or more citizen-assisted road crossings each spring as frogs, toads, salamanders and newts migrate from the forests where they spend the majority if their lives to the pools, ponds and streams where they breed. As a participant, your name is added to a telephone tree at the start of the season and whenever one of the “Big Night” Scouts (Volunteers B) identifies a migration, you receive a phone call with the location so you can help move individuals across the road. At the end of the road crossing, we assess the migration and mark on the map the extent and location of the migration as well as species encountered and habitat information.
Volunteer B: Selects an area to scout for “Big Night” events. Select a month (or multiple months) from March through June to conduct the scouting and on every misty/rainy night, drive your route. When a migration is identified, call the first person on the telephone tree (Volunteers A) and set off a wave of notifications so the citizen-assisted road crossing can take place. As mentioned above, at the end of the night, the migration activity is documented.
When and how often do we do this?
The time period for the migration mapping is March through June but the actual level of involvement is dependent on the weather and our ability to actually find where migrations are taking place.
We need both scouts and road crossing participants to make this successful.
What time of day are the scouting and migration mapping/road assists done?
The most likely time for these “Big Night” events to take place is at night, during a light mist or rain.
While this is not the most favorable time for people, this is what the amphibians, with their wet skins, need to travel over grasses and roads and forest floors to get to their breeding pools.
They don’t call it “Big Night” for nothing though, so while we might get a bit wet ourselves, the sights and sounds of the night are amazing.
Hop in and start monitoring!
If you’d like to become involved, watch for our event announcements for workshops in February or March.
All levels of experience are welcome. Training materials will be provided.