Kansas is home to 22 kinds of frogs, treefrogs, spadefoots and toads --? known collectively to science as anurans ? but we don't know nearly enough about them.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in Pratt, in cooperation with Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History and the Center for North American Herpetology in Lawrence, have announced the launching of the Kansas Anuran Monitoring Program Web site.
Joseph Collins and Travis Taggart, adjunct curators at Sternberg Museum, were instrumental in the development of the site, which features data they collected, graphs and color photographs (taken by noted wildlife photographer Suzanne L. Collins).
With the encouragement, cooperation and advice of Ken Brunson, Wildlife Diversity Coordinator for KDWP, Collins organized and operated a volunteer effort of more than 50-75 individuals, who monitored the choruses of Kansas frogs, treefrogs, spadefoots and toads on more than 45 routes across Kansas each spring and summer from 1998 to 2002.
Taggart, who organized and displayed the KAMP data online, is currently developing an interactive component to the Web site that will permit past volunteers to log on and continue to monitor these amphibians, starting in January 2004. In addition, each individual will be able to acquire a new route of his or her own and then enter the data online and watch as the information on their route accumulates and builds over time.
KAMP was established in 1998 by the KDWP through a grant from the Chickadee Checkoff funds.