Texas Nature Trackers
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(800) 792-1112 ext. 8062
Texas Amphibian Watch: Educator Activities
One of the best things you can do to help amphibians is to join Texas Amphibian Watch. By becoming an Amphibian Spotter, by conducting Frog Force Malformation Monitoring, or by doing nocturnal call counts, you can join teachers and students throughout the state who are doing real scientific field work. This field work will help us find the answers to some very important questions about our amphibian populations such as: What species of amphibians can be found in different locations and in different habitats in Texas? About how many of each species of amphibians are there in Texas? How do the populations of different species change over time? How do the populations of different species change in relation to different weather conditions? Are there any amphibians in Texas that have malformations?
Kinds of activities suggested:
Activity 1: Amphibians in Literature
- To explore attitudes about amphibians suggested by the roles amphibians are given in literature.
Activity 2: Texas Amphibians in the Past – Using Oral History in Scientific Research
- To determine the species of amphibians in the local area in the past.
- To determine the relative abundance of amphibians in the local area in the past.
- To examine changes in land use in the local area that might impact amphibian populations. (For example: Have any wetlands been drained and filled in?)
Activity 3: Using Field Guides as a Monitoring Tool
- To develop an hypothesis about amphibian species expected to be present in the monitoring area.
- To introduce students to using field guides as a monitoring tool.
Activity 4: Becoming an Amphibian Spotter
- To determine the species of amphibians found in the local community (doing the field research to test the hypothesis formulated in Activity 3).
- To gather initial data about whether amphibian malformations occur in the monitoring area. To develop the students amphibian identification skills.
- To report all data to Texas Amphibian Watch within 30 days of project completion.
Activity 5: Texas Amphibian Watch Daytime Field Trip – Conducting Frog Force Malformation Monitoring
- To determine the species of amphibians found in the monitoring area (do research to complete the scientific investigation that will validate or dispute the hypothesis from Activity 3).
- To take habitat data concerning the amphibians in the monitoring area.
- To determine if amphibians in the monitoring area have any malformations.
- To report all data to Texas Amphibian Watch within 30 days of completing the project.
Activity 6: Texas Amphibian Watch Evening Field Trip – Conducting an "Adopt-a-Frog Pond Nocturnal Call Count"
- To determine the species of amphibians found in the monitoring area.
- To determine the relative abundance of amphibians in the monitoring area.
- To take data on weather conditions at the monitoring area during the monitoring effort.
- To send data to Texas Amphibian Watch within 30 days of project completion.