Adopt an Ephemeral Wetland

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED FOR 2015!  If you are interested in the program for next year, sign up on our mailing list to receive information in the future (click here).

Adopt an Ephemeral Wetland Program

The Munson Sandhills region of the Apalachicola National Forest (see map below) , just south of Florida’s capital city Tallahassee, is rich with small, isolated wetlands that hold water only during certain times of the year.  Why are these wetlands important?  The list is long but one significant reason is that they provide breeding habitat for a suite of amphibians that only breed in these fishless wetlands.

Map depicting the Adopt an Ephemeral Wetland study area. Green dots denote ephemeral wetlands.

Over the past 50 years, some of these species have declined and one, the striped newt, has gone extinct within the Apalachicola National Forest.   We are engaging the community to help us keep an eye on these amphibians and the unique wetlands on which they depend.  These data contribute important information about species diversity, wetland water levels, and help us detect any declines in amphibian populations early before costly and less effective measures are needed.

Volunteers adopt a wetland (or 2) and agree to survey the amphibians in that wetland at least 4 times a year.  Volunteers attend a training, at which they learn sampling methodology and how to ID amphibian larvae.  They then select their wetland from the Wetland Adoption book and are provided with all surveying equipment and supplies.

Last year was our first year for the Adopt an Ephemeral Wetland program.  With almost 90 citizens involved,  including 38 kids, the program has far exceeded our expectations.  You can keep track of this program’s progress by checking out the Blog Posts page.