CHESTERTON | The Shirley Heinze Land Trust and the Field Museum will discuss monitoring the health of wetlands at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in the nature center at Dunes State Park. Alan Resetar, collections manager at the Field Museum, and expert in herpetofauna research will lead the workshop and provide the critical information for identifying species.
The abundance and distribution of frogs over time is an indicator of the health of aquatic ecosystems, as frogs are very sensitive to changes in their environment. Land managers utilize these indicator species as an early warning sign of a declining habitat. By monitoring frog populations, citizen scientists can be a critical resource for land managers and herpetologists to collect large amounts of data that would otherwise be unattainable, with limited resources.
At the workshop, participants will learn the many calls of frogs and toads found in the region, receive a CD with the calls for future reference, and be given a specific preserve or natural area near their home, in which to conduct the monitoring. To fulfill the monitoring requirements, participants will need to visit their preserve three times during the spring through early summer under specific weather conditions, which are outlined in the protocol. The on-site monitoring generally takes about an hour (or less) each time, depending on the size of the site. Space is limited.
To register, email Jim Erdelac at email@example.com or call the Shirley Heinze Land Trust Office at (219) 879-4725.