EAST ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and
Education Center (NGRREC) is currently in its second year of a
treefrog research project taking place in southern Illinois’ bald cypress
bird-voiced treefrogs are listed as threatened in Illinois and the habitat they
rely on, bottomland forest swamps, are rapidly declining and listed as wetlands
of international importance. The goal of this project is to provide a more
accurate assessment of population, abundance, growth and survival of
bird-voiced treefrogs in southern Illinois.
species is very understudied, with a majority of the research taking place in
the 1990s,” said Jessica Mohlman, assistant scientist and research coordinator.
“The previous studies also focused on only observational findings including
diet and mating. We are now tracking individuals and gathering additional
information including weight and length to better understand the species and
its status in the state.”
This study takes
place across ten sites located in Eastern Shawnee National Forest and Cache
River-Cypress Creek. Each of the sites includes 50 traps, for a total of 500
traps included in this study. Each frog captured is scanned for a Passive
Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag that has a unique identification number,
similar to a microchip utilized in dogs and cats. If it has previously been
caught, researchers determine the frog’s sex, age, weight and length. If it is
a new capture, a PIT tag is added to a frog. All frogs are released back into
Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey both
have been crucial partners allowing access to wetlands and making sure all
staff are properly trained to handle treefrogs safely.” Environmental
Technician Jen Hemphill said.
The main focus
of this research study is bird-voiced treefrogs, however, green and gray
treefrogs are also being caught and tagged to understand their population levels
One of the major
threats to biodiversity loss is the alteration and degradation of habitats. In
Illinois, over 90% of its original wetland area have already been lost.
Naturally occurring wetlands also help our communities by reducing flooding and
they function as a filter, working to remove pollution from water runoff before
it reaches a creek or river.
rich in biodiversity and beauty and are one of the most important habitat types
in the world,” said Mohlman. “Go out to a local wetland and explore their
beauty. Listen to the calls of the frogs and the birds.”
information contact Jessica Mohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 468-2833.
Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC ℠ )
in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to
the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center
aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related
to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and
their associated communities.