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River Museum engages community to help protect amphibians

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will host a free public presentation from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, April 12, highlighting FrogWatch USA, a citizen science program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The presentation will be hosted in the Journey Theater of the Mississippi River Discovery Center. Advance registration is required and can be completed at rivermuseum.com/frogwatch2019.

FrogWatch USA provides individuals, groups, and families opportunities to learn about wetlands in their communities by reporting on the calls of local frogs and toads. This data is used to gain a wider understanding of local amphibian populations, which helps AZA organizations coordinate conservation efforts to protect threatened species.

Frogs and toads play an important role in our wetland ecosystems, serving as both prey and predator, and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world, and it's essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of these declines.

Volunteers are the foundation of the FrogWatch USA community, which is why the Museum & Aquarium is reaching out to the community for assistance. These trained individuals listen for frogs and toads during evenings and submit findings to a national online database. Monitoring through FrogWatch USA can be an enriching experience
that allows one to connect with nature and contribute to amphibian conservation efforts.

FrogWatch USA is one of several events planned by the Museum & Aquarium during its month-long Party for the Planet celebration in April. Other conservation events scheduled throughout the month include Cocktails for Conservation, Party for the Planet, and Invasive Species Beatdown.

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