May 20th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 20
Conservation volunteers to survey local amphibians in the Pass
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor photo
Wood frog found on the Frayn property in Blairmore
Herald Contributor
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) kicked off its 2015 Conservation Volunteers (CV) season with an evening of amphibious adventures at the Frayn conservation property, located on the west end of the Blairmore townsite in the Crowsnest Pass.
The group of 16 volunteers, joined by NCC staff and professional biologist Yvonne Bazin, braved the rainy conditions to conduct visual and auditory surveys for frogs, toads and salamanders on site.
“A large portion of this property is riparian habitat from the original channel of Crowsnest River, which was straightened in the early 1900’s to minimize flooding of the railroad,” explains NCC Natural Area Manager, Rylee Osadczuk. “The presence of breeding native amphibian species is a key indicator of a healthy, diverse riparian system. That’s why we’re out with volunteers conducting these surveys.”
There are 10 species of amphibians in Alberta: two salamanders, four frogs, and four toads. Seven of these species can be found in the Crowsnest Pass area. The event consisted of two separate surveys, a visual inspection during daylight, and an auditory experience listening for the amphibians’ calls after sundown.
Maggie Cascadden, NCC’s Conservation Volunteers program assistant, provides a brief description of what the group saw and heard in the surveys.
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“We found wood frogs and a couple boreal chorus frogs, as well as frog eggs, which belonged to either the northern leopard frog or Columbia spotted frog. Other species we were searching for included the tiger salamander, long-toed salamander, and boreal toad, but they are harder to find in this area. At night, we returned to listen to the calls of the frogs and toads in the area.”
In the end, seven frogs were found and identified on the property. Two were boreal chorus frogs, which are common in Alberta, and the five others were wood frogs.
The amphibian survey was a great start to the field season for NCC. During the coming months, there will be ample opportunities for volunteers to get out and help conserve Alberta’s precious lands. For more information on how you can get involved, visit
The Frayn conservation property spans 76 acres, consisting of primarily riparian ecosystem between the towns of Blairmore and Coleman. Owned jointly by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Conservation Association, and the Alberta Fish and Game Association, the property is a priority area for conservation in the Crowsnest Pass.
May 20th ~ Vol. 85 No. 20
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