>About this Guide
>Table of Contents
1. What you can do
5. Environmental Issues
6. Keystone species
7. Get Wet!-
Field Study Ideas
8. The Zoo Experience
9. Frogs & Friends
10. Case Studies
2.9. SALLY MANDER'S FAVOURITE PLACE
(Level: 7 : 8 : 10 acad : 10 appl : 11 appl :: Water Quality)
Purpose: To monitor the water quality conditions that
are favourable to amphibians for breeding, and to record
sightings of amphibians.
What You Need: pH test kit :: thermometer :: wetland
monitoring sheet :: amphibian observation sheet :: amphibian
What You Do:
Print copies of the
wetland monitoring sheet (available
here if you cannot display pop-up windows) and the
amphibian monitoring sheet (available
here if you cannot display pop-up windows). Select a wetland that your class or school would like to
monitor on a monthly or yearly basis. Monitoring should be
conducted between the first week of April and the end of June.
May is the best month. The most important task, and probably the
most difficult, will be determining the size of the wetland.
Local Conservation Authorities will be able to provide you with
this information if the wetland is too big to measure. If the
wetland is relatively small, the city planning department may
have this information, or it can be measured physically by the
students. Large wetlands may have a greater diversity of
micro-habitats, and hence a greater diversity of species. Closely
related to size is the ratio of open water to vegetation. It is
important to determine the percentage of area covered by both
open water and plant communities present. Record information on
the wetland monitoring sheet and the amphibian observation sheet
as accurately as possible.
- Visit the wetland that you plan to monitor. Record a
temperature reading on the edges of the north shore of the
wetland and the south shore of the wetland. Use the same
thermometer. Take at least 3 measurements each on both sides of
the wetland and then average the readings. Try to account for any
drastic differences in each of the 3 readings. Such factors as
water depth, increased sun exposure, or shade can vary results.
- Measuring pH. Record results.
- Look for the presence of amphibians in the wetland. This can
be done by listening for calls, finding eggs, or seeing them.
- If you are monitoring a pond without amphibians or in your
school yard, record temperatures at different depths or exposures
(north and south side). What accounts for the variation in
temperature? Where would you expect to find amphibian eggs early
in spring when ground and water temperatures are cool?
- Why was it necessary to record temperature on both the north
shore and the south shore of the wetland?
- Water temperatures rarely exceed 10° C in spring. During
spring breeding, amphibians prefer and actively seek out water
temperatures of 15° to 19° C. Late breeders such as the
green frogs or bullfrogs wait until water is warmed in June or
July. This water temperature may determine where and when
amphibians breed. In addition to temperature, amphibians prefer a
pH of 4.5 to 8.5.
- Compare your values recorded to the preferred values for
temperature and pH. (Older students may wish to explore the
effects of pH and water temperature on amphibians more throughly
using Unit 5: Environmental Issues.)
- Discuss creating or restoring a nearby wetland in light of
question 2. Remember each place is different and different
species have their own needs. Your pond might be perfect for
salamanders and you shouldn't try to make it into a home for
bullfrogs. If you are trying to create or restore wetland, this
manual and the "Urban Outback -Wetlands for Wildlife: A Guide to
Wetland Restoration and Frog-friendly Backyards" will give you
some help in determining the type of area you should be
Detailed monitoring protocols, developed by the Canadian
Wildlife Service, are available in the appendix of the "Urban
Outback". If you are interested in participating in a frog monitoring
programme, please visit the
Click here to see the answers to these questions.
Click here to go back to the list
of activities for this unit.
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