Have you ever spent an evening outside, heard the frogs croaking in the distance, and wanted to go looking for them?
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for volunteers to spend an ‘unfrogettable’ evening conducting an amphibian survey on NCC’s Witt property, which is just outside Cypress Hills Provincial Park on June 21.
The event, called A Ribbiting Evening, will aim to collect information on the presence and absence of Alberta’s native frog, salamander and toad species on the Witt property, which is less than an hour drive from Medicine Hat.
The evening will begin with a quick garbage clean-up, then "jump" into a visual survey for amphibians to document any species. Participants will then enjoy hot chocolate and snacks while engaging in a workshop to learn how to identify species by listening to recordings of various frog calls.
Since frogs are more active at night, the group will then head out after the sun sets and put their new-found skills to the test by conducting an auditory survey of the property.
Hannah Schaepsmeyer, NCC’s Conservation Volunteers Coordinator, shares why volunteers should get excited for this event.
“This is the first time NCC has hosted an amphibian survey on this property. We are hoping to see the northern leopard frog, which is a threatened species that’s at risk for becoming endangered. We are hoping to find northern leopard frog habitat on the Witt property.” said Schaepsmeyer.
All of the tools and equipment for the evening, along with delicious snacks and hot beverages, will be provided by NCC.
The data collected will help NCC to document the current health of the local habitat and be used to help determine future stewardship needs for the Witt property.
The Witt property was once a part of the historic Reesor Ranch before it was purchased in partnership by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada. Located on the north edge of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, this 169 acre property provides habitat for passing wildlife, as well as an additional buffer from development along the park.
Besides hosting habitat for native amphibians, this property is still part of a working landscape where cattle ranching and conservation go hand-in-hand. The property also features healthy native fescue grasslands and hosts a large wetland complex, which is home to a diversity of waterfowl like the red necked grebe
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Conservation Volunteers program engages Canadians of all ages in the protection of Canada’s species and natural habitats. These events provide meaningful, hands-on educational experiences in natural areas across the province.
Since 2006, NCC’s Conservation Volunteers program has engaged over 13,000 Canadians across 1,157 events from coast to coast.
To sign up for this event or to find other events in your area, visit www.conservationvolunteers.ca or call 403-993-7695.