A chorus in the rain – Class learns about listening to frogs, their importance to ecosystem

April 19, 2017

It’s a small species of frog that ranges in size from 1½ to 3½ inches long and sounds sort of like a duck — if that duck were laughing. It’s the only species of frog found north of the Arctic Circle, surviving the harsh winters by going into hibernation.

But, do you know where else you can find the wood frog?

In the northwestern corner of Independence County.

By the same token, if you go to the opposite end of the county, away from the woodlands of the northwest to the fields of the southeast, you may be startled by something that sounds akin to wild pig that’s snoring. If you look around, there won’t be a pig in sight. That’s because you’re looking for the wrong animal.

Instead of a 200-pound wild boar dozing in the shade, you should be looking for a spotted frog that’s about 2½ inches to 3½ inches long. That frog is the federally-threatened crawfish frog, named because it takes shelter in the burrows of crawfish. It generally stays out of the hills, preferring the wetlands of the Arkansas River Valley and its tributaries.

The wood and crawfish frogs are just two species of frog and toad found in the state and one of 16 species known to makes homes in Independence County. People might not see them most of the time, but they do hear them, often mistaking them for anything from bugs to birds.

But where ever they are, the frogs form a chorus that often precedes wet weather and brings the night alive. From spring until autumn, they provide much of the soundtrack for the seasons.

It was with this in mind that FrogWatch USA’s Arkansas chapter held a frog listening class at Ozarka’s campus in Ash Flat last week. The two-hour long lecture was given by Linda Glass, a volunteer frog listener.

Read the rest here: https://guardonline.com/?p=235628

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