All across the state of Iowa, citizen scientists are making enormous contributions to wildlife conservation with some training through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program.
“The Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program provides an opportunity for adults who love the outdoors and wildlife to be directly involved with the conservation and monitoring of Iowa’s resources. The work done is crucial to the well-being of these species,” said Stephanie Shepherd, wildlife biologist with the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program.
Every March and April, Shepherd travels around the state to lead training workshops that ready folks to collect data on some of Iowa’s critical wildlife. So what are these critical wildlife species?
Volunteers are trained to listen to and recognize the 16 species of frogs and toads in Iowa based on their breeding calls. In 2018, volunteers surveyed 54 survey routes which translate into more than 400 wetland sites monitored for frog and toad activity.
“The frog and toad surveyors are particularly special because to perform the surveys volunteers have to drive back country roads at night along a specific route using only their ears to collect data,” Shepherd said. “I think most feel that exploring the Iowa wilds at night is a unique experience and opportunity.”
Interested volunteers must register for and attend a training workshop.
Frog and Toad Call Survey Workshops
April 2: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Pioneer Ridge Nature Center, 1339 Highway 63, Bloomfield
Hosted by Wapello County Conservation
April 8: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Wapsi River Environmental Center, 31555 52nd Ave., Dixon
Hosted by Scott County Conservation
April 9: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Boone Wildlife Research Station by Ledges State Park, 1436 255th St., Boone
April 13: 1 to 4 p.m.
Oak Grove Lodge at Oak Grove Park, 4051 Cherry Ave., Hawarden
Hosted by Sioux County Conservation
There is a $5 fee to cover workshop materials.
For more information, go to http://www.iowadnr.com/vwmp/or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org