Scientists in our area are hoping that citizen scientists and students can help them learn more about the Mountain Chorus Frog.
The frog isn't well known to biologists. A goal of this study is to determine how widespread the animal is across our region. Wally Smith, an Assistant Professor of Biology at UVA Wise says our region is one of the only places in the State of VA where the frog is found. Scientists think they live in our area due to a combination of slightly cooler temperatures and more rainfall than other parts of the eastern US.
They're going to be preferring any kind of nice, grassy, open wetland such as Old Logging Roads or ditches along railroad beds. They prefer modified habitats as much as wild habitats," Wally says.
Kevin Hamed, a Professor of Biology at VA Highlands Community College says by getting the public's help, they're able to expand their study into areas they couldn't otherwise.
"With just a couple of us it's very difficult and with the terrain that we have in Southwest Virginia it's near impossible. If we have people, and especially students walking around their own yards, walking around parks, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and listening for frogs ... it help us greatly."
The species is rarely seen except during breeding season- which usually lasts from late February through April and May.
If you hear a frog, you're asked to record the call with your phone and if possible, take a photo so biologists can confirm your report.
The Mountain Chorus Frog should be be calling soon- all the way through April or May depending on weather conditions.
On a Weekend Drive, I'm Meteorologist Ricky Matthews..