The Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP) is a volunteer-based, multi-agency effort to assess the current status of amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) across our state, with the goal of learning where they live and how they are doing. The TAMP is sponsored by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and the Center For Environmental Education at Middle Tennessee State University.
Participation in the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program is voluntary and is open to all interested persons, old and young alike.
In recent years, biologists in many parts of the world have documented declining populations of amphibians, especially anurans (frogs & toads). While reasons for these declines are often unknown, scientists speculate that some declines may be the result of pollution, predation by introduced species, unfavorable changes in land and water use, habitat destruction, climatic changes, inappropriate use of pesticides and herbicides, and holes in the ozone layer. Some declines may simply be a natural, though seemingly unfortunate, cycle of many populations.
In some high-elevation lakes of the Pacific Northwest it was recently shown that frog eggs allowed to develop in their native habitat were adversely affected by the amount of ultraviolet radiation present, while those that were shielded from UV light developed normally. Many populations of some montane (mountain habitat) frog species may have disappeared for this reason. This lends some credence to our concerns about holes in the ozone layer, and reminds us of the value of amphibians as environmental indicators.
In response to these declines in North America, an international group of biologists created the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP), with the goal of providing reliable methods of monitoring our native amphibians. The TAMP is being undertaken in an effort to understand the status of amphibians in our home state. The TAMP is an integral part of this larger national effort while expanding the scope of the surveys to suit special needs in the Volunteer State.
Our goal is to cover the entire state by enlisting a network of volunteers (Frogloggers) with an interest in science, herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) and conservation. Over time, the data which Frogloggers collect will help biologists and land managers know where each species occurs and in what abundance, and will help them make good decisions which benefit our amphibian populations, our environment and ourselves.
Please consider becoming one of Tennessee's volunteer Frogloggers and help to keep our frog song going!