The Ann Arbor area has habitat for as many as ten species of frogs and toads, collectively called "anurans." Several of these make regular appearances in our ongoing Frog and Toad Survey!
However, in recent years, many observers have been concerned with the apparent population declines of several of these species. This concern is not just for the species themselves, but also for the ecosystems in which they play a role. Frogs and toads are very sensitive to changes in water quality and adjacent land use. Thus, their populations can serve as an indicator of environmental quality.
Frogs and toads can be readily identified by their calls. For examples of frog and toad calls on the web, visit the USGS’ Frog Quiz webpage at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz.
Conservation notes for all amphibians:
- Breeding sites are susceptible to run-off contamination by pesticides, herbicides, and other pollutants, such as road salt, which affect eggs and larvae.
- Deforestation and destruction of breeding sites are major reasons for declines.
- Populations have been reduced or eliminated by the draining of small wetlands and the conversion of its habitat to urban or agricultural use.
- Habitat fragmentation and the resulting mortality along roads during spring migrations have also played a role in population decline.