Listen for the Songs of Nature

by Christie Hill, Naturalist Coordinator

April showers bring May flowers, but also they bring out amphibians. The Southeast is home to more than 140 species of frogs, toads and salamanders, and is the center of amphibian biodiversity in our nation. As we all know in Georgia, insects provide the white noise of life by day, but the night belongs to the amphibians. I roll down my windows when driving along the Chattahoochee River, an auditorium for frog’s symphonic choruses. And this wonderful music is super-affordable as concerts go. The sounds are good reminders of how many other living things share our space.

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Walking in the forest (or wetlands) is a part of almost all of our programs at CNC. Frogs not only sound good, but also play a central role in our ecosystem. They eat many of the insects we consider pests and are food themselves for countless other animals. One of the most important roles that frogs fill for humans is warning us of important changes in the environment. Frogs breathe and take in toxins through their sensitive skin. We know something is amiss out there when they start getting sick or we begin to lose numbers of them. Scientists now track amphibian health carefully. The sounds we find in nature are comforting these days. In our time of technology and networking we can learn from the simplest of creatures. Frogs have always known how to find and communicate with each other more effectively than we still do. You can learn and help. Check out the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program at this site.

The Mission of the Chattahoochee Nature Center is to connect people with nature. Learn more at www.chattnaturecenter.org.