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Arizona Ecological Services Office (AESO) introduces urban high school students to leopard frog survey techniques.
Southwest Region, April 18, 2007
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As part of a year-long pilot curriculum and research project on threatened, endangered, or sensitive species and the Endangered Species Act in accelerated biology class at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Arizona and coordinated by the AESO, three students assisted biologists Jeff Servoss and Jim Rorabaugh in conducting night time leopard frog surveys. 

Specifically, these surveys were conducted in late afternoon and evening at the Hassayampa River Preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy in north-central Maricopa County.  Students were escorted into riparian habitat where they assisted in conducting audible and visual surveys for ranid frogs, with emphasis on detecting native lowland and nonnative Rio Grande leopard frogs.  Students had the opportunity to observe nonnative bullfrogs, larval and adult lowland leopard frogs, ornate tree lizards, and numerous species of migratory birds during their outing.  Additionally, students observed lowland leopard frogs begin to "chorus" in response to recorded breeding calls. 

The students reflected on all that was learned during their outing and the nature of this unique experience.  One student even declared his interest in becoming a professional herpetologist when he grew-up!

This pilot curriculum and associated field opportunities were specifically and collaboratively designed to integrate wildlife/ecology/natural resource issues and outdoor opportunities with an urban students of varying socioeconomic status, and of varying race and ethnicity in a greater effort to promote an interest in wildlife and the outdoors for an increasingly disassociated generation of young people, as encouraged by Interior Secretary Kempthorn, Director Hall, and Regional Director Tuggle.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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