The Calling Frog Survey

In the 1960’s, the cricket frog was the most common amphibian in Illinois. Today, it has nearly disappeared from the northern third of Illinois, for unexplained reasons. By monitoring amphibian populations in the Chicago region, we will be able to detect population changes before it is too late as well as assess the effects of management regimes on amphibians.

In 2000, Chicago Wilderness initiated a calling frog survey as part of its amphibian biodiversity recovery plan. In 2014, the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum became home to the Calling Frog Survey. Educated volunteers collect and submit data each spring.

Video Credit: Eric Köppen

Who We Are

Our group is comprised of ordinary citizens, citizen-scientists and scientists who share a strong environmental ethic and a love for frogs. It does not matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned frogger; as a team we will all contribute valuable information that will help amphibians in our region. In the process, you will find that this is a fun way to spend time with friends and family.


Our goal is to establish calling frog survey routes throughout the Chicago region, resulting in amphibian abundance and distribution data. We particularly want to continue monitoring sites that have thus far been monitored regularly, so that we can obtain long-term data on amphibian trends within key sites. Data from the Calling Frog Survey will be used to guide regional conservation planning and local land management, to ensure that no other amphibian suffers the fate of the cricket frog.

How You Can Help

If you would like to monitor frogs, please attend one of the winter workshops (if they are not listed, then you have missed them for the current season, but you can still get involved). If you would like to help with the organizational aspects of the project or with data entry or analysis, or for more information, contact Jamie Forberg.