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Maine Audubon seeks frog trackers

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Maine Audubon seeks frog trackers

FALMOUTH — Maine Audubon Society is looking for help tracking amphibians across the state this spring.

Susan Gallo, wildlife biologist for the organization, said the 17-year-old Lend an Ear program is looking for volunteers to travel established routes to listen for different species of frogs across the state.

“(Volunteers) go out three times,” Gallo said. “Once right now to capture wood frogs and the peepers, and then there is another run toward the end of April or beginning of May, and a third run in the month of June.”

She said volunteers are asked to follow a prescribed route with 10 different stops. At each stop the volunteer must listen and record animal sounds for a period of five minutes.

Each volunteer must be able to identify the nine species of frogs in Maine in order to participate in the program, but Gallo said there are several resources available to help train people to hear each species' specific sound. She said the U.S. Geological Survey's website features a quiz that is helpful, and there are several books featuring CDs that can also help volunteers differentiate the species.

Gallo said there are some routes open in southern Maine, but Maine Audubon is also looking for people who can volunteer for the northernmost routes in the state.

“If anyone has a connection up there, we have the bulk of our unfilled routes up north,” she said. “That is where we really struggle to reach volunteers."

For more information on the Lend an Ear program or to sign up for a route contact Gallo at sgallo@maineaudubon.org or call 781-2330 ext. 216.

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.