I. Introduction and Overview
We are in the process of updating the database containing all of the data from the Calling Frog Survey since its inception in the year 2000. Frog monitors enter their data each year, and scientists and land managers use these data to help conserve habitat across the Chicago Wilderness region.
At present, data entry has been simplified during the update process. Once monitors enter their data, they can only view what has been entered by requesting a downloaded database file from the program coordinator. Only the program coordinator may edit the data in case there are errors to be fixed.
In the interim during the update, monitors are encouraged to use our simplified online data entry via a Google Form. The form can be found using the Data Entry link on the website. You will be required to enter your email and name in order to submit data, but no other login or password will be required at this time.
To enter data:
Go to www.frogsurvey.org.
Click on “Data Entry and Output” at the top right.
II. Instructions for Entering Data
Route name, sampling date and conditions
- At the beginning of the form, you will be required to enter your email, the name of your route, the state and county in which you monitor, your name, and the date of sampling. When you enter your route name, include the preserve and if you have a specific route name within a large preserve, include that information). It is very important to give your route a consistent name that is descriptive of its location, so that others can find the general area you monitored.
- If your route straddles two counties, please select the county in which most of the listening points fall. If the appropriate county is not listed, use “Other.”
- Under “Route Habitat Description, indicate the type of wetland; for example, a vernal pool (i.e., temporary), a pond in a wood lot, a marsh, a bog, a fen, a creek, a slough, a farm pond, a retention pond, a city park pond, etc.
Sampling run and conditions prior to sampling:
- Indicate in the drop-down menu whether the data are from the first, second, or third sampling round in the season. Round 1 spans Feb. 25-Apr. 20. Round 2 spans May 10-May 30. Round 3 spans June 20-July 10.
- Indicate if there was precipitation or below freezing temperatures in the last 48 hours
Sampling time & Conditions:
Next, enter the start time for your sampling run, including the time you started monitoring at each location on your route. Enter the environmental conditions while sampling at each location on your route, including the sky code (select 1-9), cloud cover (select 0-100%), wind code (select 1-5), and air temperature (entered in degrees Fahrenheit).
- Within each route, you will have one or more listening points, or locations. After you’ve entered your Route information, you need toenter information for each monitoring location. You will need to enter the latitude and longitude for each listening point. You only need enter this information ONCE within a season, unless your locations change during the season due to access issues. If you enter the locations with your first round of data collection and your locations are unchanged throughout the season, you do not need to re-enter the information.
- You’ll need to give each location a unique name– one that is different from all the others in the database. So a simple 1, 2, or 3 may not work because someone else has used it. Try something logical to you, so you’ll recognize the locations by their names when you go back to the database later on.
- Again, it is important to describe the location in a manner that will allow others to know precisely where it is and how to get to it(so someone, using these directions, could find where you listened from). The best way to do that is to describe your walking route and provide GPS coordinates for each location. It is very helpful to indicate landmarks, such as road intersections, streams, bends in roads, or buildings, and include their relations to the listening points.
- Note:Enter the GPS coordinates with the latitude as a positive number in Decimal Degrees format, and the longitude as a negative number in Decimal Degrees format. Decimal Degrees format will look like this: Latitude: 44.4444, Longitude: -88.3111 for example. Remember, our longitude is negative.
- Do notuse Degrees/Minutes/Seconds or Degrees/Minutes format. If your GPS device does not offer the Decimal Degrees format, use a GPS converter to convert the coordinates to Decimal Degrees before entering your coordinates, or you can find your coordinates using Google Earth and change the units under the “Tools” menu by selecting “options” at the bottom of the dropdown menu, and selecting decimal degrees from the “show lat/long” menu.
- If you change the order in which you visit the locations or you stop visiting a location altogether, please add a note about directions at the end of the data form. .
Next, enter your observations from a single sampling run. Please note, you need to complete a new form for each
sampling run as they are associated with a particular date of sampling.
- For each listening point or location, complete the species and call index grid. All 13 species are listed for each location with the option of selecting a call index of 1, 2, or 3. If no individuals of a particular species were heard, leave the row blank with no call index selected.
- If you visited a location but did not hear or see any frogs or toads, please write “none observed” in the location notes section below the species/call index grid.
- You can enter notes of interest (e.g. water levels, frog activity, other species observed, notes about noise, etc.) in the notes section for each location. The notes section is below the call index grid.
- Repeat the above steps for each location.
- If for some reason you did not visita particular location during a monitoring visit, write “Location Skipped” in the notes section so we’ll know you left this location blank on purpose. You may enter a comment as to why the location was skipped, but all other information must be blank. Remember that if you did visit a location but did not hear or see any frogs or toads, you should click the “No frogs or toads seen or heard” button (see above), but NOT the “Location Skipped” button
- When you have entered all of the species you heard for each location, you can enter any additional notes you may have.
- Hit “Submit” and you are done entering data from the sampling run. Again, please enter data from each unique monitoring date as a separate form.
- You cannot delete an observation once it has been created. If an observation needs to be deleted, please contact your county coordinator and ask them to do so.
Thanks for entering your data electronically. It saves enormous amounts of time for Nature Museum staff, county coordinators, and data entry volunteers.