Pine Barrens Treefrog – © TJ Hilliard
How does CASP work?
The Calling Amphibian Survey Program (CASP) consists of 141 road-based listening routes randomly placed throughout the state of North Carolina (click here for map). Each route features 10 listening stops incorporating available amphibian breeding areas (i.e. wetlands, ponds, and streams). Routes vary in length due to distance between suitable frog breeding habitat, but stops are at least 0.5 mile apart. Volunteers adopt one of these routes, and then drive it at least once during each sampling window, stopping to listen for and documenting the calls of breeding frogs and toads. North Carolina employs three sampling windows to capture the different species calling at different times of the year. These windows may vary slightly due to longer or shorter seasonal weather patterns, but they correspond with the major breeding times of frogs and toads in the state. At each stop, volunteers listen for five minutes and write on data sheets all the species of frogs and toads heard using an index of abundance.
Why is CASP needed in NC?
American Toad – © Kimberly Burge
CASP survey data contributes to information on the distribution and relative abundance of frogs and toads in North Carolina over time. Our NC data gets pooled with data from other states to allow for analysis of regional and national trends in frog distribution and changes in frog populations. Understanding these trends will provide us a better understanding of the status and health of our frog and toad populations, and will enable us to protect critical habitats for our frog and toad species.
How do I become involved?
Grey Treefrog – © Kimberly Burge
Anyone with an interest in the frogs and toads of NC and a willingness to learn their calls and run 3 surveys a year can participate. The ability to correctly identify the frogs and toads in the state is a must for this program. There are 21 species of frogs and toads in NC. You can use this website to listen to the calls and begin to familiarize yourself with all of the NC species: Frogs and Toads of NC
Frog call workshops are available periodically to help with frog call identification and to explore CASP protocols.
Step 2: Email our state coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your contact information.
Step 3: Receive an observer number, along with route details such as stop descriptions.
Step 4: Prepare for your route. Receive a volunteer packet (click here) with volunteer materials including datasheets, equipment list, protocol notes, route map, volunteer placard, law enforcement explanation letter, and NC frog and toad distribution maps.
Step 5: Conduct one survey of your route within each of the three sampling windows.
Step 6: Submit your data by mail or scan and email data sheets to state coordinator no later than September 1st each year.