Surveying Frog and Toad Populations

Part of monitoring the anuran (frog and toad) populations in Minnesota means going out into different habitats and observing the health of the frogs and toads.  The following are pictures of how we survey amphibian populations as well as the equipment we use.

Pictured from left to right:  Sehoya (herpetologist),
Sue and Jeff (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). 
This is the kind of pond that  frogs and toads use for breeding in the Spring.  It's perfect for finding frogs!  We use big nets to catch frogs and toads, and cement mixing buckets to hold them in temporarily.  Before we even start walking down to the ponds, we trade our shoes for waders because we don't want to track any contaminants from the streets or places where we've walked into the ponds. 


We're trying to net some frogs!  One thing to remember when searching for frogs is to always wear gloves, like Erika (A Thousand Friends of Frogs) and Sehoya are in this photo.  Amphibians' skin is permeable, or porous, so it can absorb anything that is on your hands like bug spray, lotion, hair spray, etc.  Frogs and toads are very sensitive to the chemicals that are in these products, and if they come in contact with them they may suffer shock and die. 

Searching for amphibians is hard work. Frogs move very fast, so you need to be attentive and keep your eyes open!

(Graphic courtesy of "")

After catching 100 frogs (or as many as we can in two hours) we weigh and measure each frog/toad, look them over for abnormalities, and record this information.  When we're finished, we release the frogs and toads back into the ponds where we found them.  This is very important because we want to preserve the amphibian populations in these habitats.

Click here to see some pictures of malformed frogs and toads.

CGEE is no longer involved in frog surveying. If you are interested in surveying, go to the Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Frog and Toad Calling Survey website:


Click here for the results of the 1999 surveys.

Choose from these other areas:

Amphibian Facts
MN Frogs and Toads
Global Amphibian Declines
Malformed Amphibians
MN Frog Watch
Malformed Amphibian Photos
Student and School Reports







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