The Department of Natural Resources is looking for a few good frog counters. The agency is recruiting people to help survey the state's frog and toad populations.
In the project, about 200 volunteers will drive designated routes to stop near wetlands and listen for frogs and toads, following the route for three evenings in spring and early summer and stopping at 10 locations. They will pick out individual species and note how much each species is calling.
Before going out, each volunteer receives a CD and a poster to learn the calls and takes an online quiz, said coordinator Heidi Cyr.
"They can take the quiz as many times as need to until they pass," Cyr said, "but by the time they're done they're usually pretty good at identifying the frog and toad species that'll be on their route."
Amphibians are good indicators of habitat quality, Cyr said, because they live both in water and on land.
"They're very sensitive, and they do live in those two separate areas, so they're a good indication of the health of our wetlands," she said. "When we have drops in frog and toad populations, we know there's probably something going on in our wetlands."
Cyr said frog and toad populations are relatively stable in Minnesota.