ROYAL OAK (WWJ) –  The Detroit Zoological Society is encouraging Southeast Michigan residents to hop to it and join the local chapter of FrogWatch USA.

The “citizen science” program will teach volunteers how to identify frogs and toads by their breeding calls and scientifically gather and record data that will support a national network.

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More than one-third of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, infectious diseases and other factors.

FrogWatch is intended to raise local awareness to these environmental threats.

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“We already know about the extinctions and crises amphibians face globally, but data is deficient in our own backyards. This program will allow us to keep better records and monitor our native species for any changes that may occur,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen.

Training sessions for FrogWatch will be held Saturday, Feb. 26, and Sunday, March 6, 2011, noon to 4 p.m., in the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center.

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For more information or to register, email