Why Are The Frogs Calling You?
Male frogs call to attract a female of their species. It’s incredibly hard work for them, but without it they’d probably struggle to find each other! Because each species has a different call (which stops females being attracted to the wrong species!), by recording them we can tell which n where species are present and we also know that they are attempting to breed.
Have you ever heard a frog calling from inside a drain? It’s thought that some males call from places that make them sound more attractive – be that larger or stronger – and drains make great sound studios! One study also found that some frogs call at a higher pitch in areas with more traffic so they can be heard over the top of the noise!
What if the frogs are NOT calling you? You can still make a recording – it’s good for us to know when the frogs are not active too. Because we only count the frogs that are calling, we are only measuring presence, not absence – just because they are not calling doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Frog calls are a reliable way to identify species and breeding activity. It’s an easy way to study frogs and the WetMAP study incorporates surveys by citizen scientists, professional researchers and automatic sound recorders. You can join in by downloading the FrogID app and recording frog calls anywhere – including your own home!
Bleating Tree Frog (Litoria dentata) calling for a mate. Photo by Lynette Plenderleith