The sudden cold snap at the end of February has postponed our field work significantly. Frogs that were beginning to move about have since sought out protection from the cold, waiting out the weather before breeding begins!
With slight warming in March, ice has begun to melt and open water habitat is allowing for our field researchers to set traps. Snowy weather has locked up a lot of water that would normally flow through our sites; trap site selection has been different than 2017 but the habitat looks promising! With traps set we are conducting daily trap monitoring; it will be interesting to see how the OSF population reacts to the warming weather.
Typically, frogs are captured throughout a 5-week breeding season around known breeding sites in soft-sided traps – up to 125 at a single site. Every day our team of field researchers checks the traps, and measure, weigh, and individually tag each Oregon Spotted Frog captured with a with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag that is about the size of a grain of rice. Frogs are then released, and hopefully recaptured in the same season and in future years.
By Petra Wykpis