Amphibians

As a water-based park, Voyageurs National Park supports many types of wetlands, such as sphagnum-peat bogs, wooded swamps, and marshes. These wetlands, along with the many lakes that make up Voyageurs National Park, provide the habitat that amphibians need to survive and reproduce. This wide array of aquatic habitats is ideal because all amphibians rely on water at some point during their lifetime.

 
A small red salamander walking on sand.
Central Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

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Amphibians In The Park


Voyageurs National Park has 10 confirmed species of amphibians, which can be further divided into one toad species, seven frog species, one salamander species, and one newt species. Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs are some of the first frogs to emerge and start singing in spring, often when there is still snow on the ground. Northern Leopard Frogs, Northern Green Frogs, Mink Frogs, and Gray Treefrogs emerge as the temperatures grow consistently warmer and begin their breeding cycles later in the spring and into the summer. The American Toad begins its breeding season mid-spring and into mid-summer. The American Toad has a more terrestrial (land-based) lifestyle versus the more aquatic (water-based) lifestyle of adult frogs. Both the Blue Spotted Salamander and Central Newt have aquatic based developmental stages and lifestyles; however, adult salamanders have a more terrestrial existence, preferring moist wooded areas and leaf litter whereas adult Central Newts are entirely aquatic

 
Brown and green frog sitting on a wet rock.
Northern Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota)

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Sensitive Group

Amphibians are sensitive to changes in their environment due to the fact that their skin is more permeable than ours, so while water and oxygen can pass through their skin, so can other chemicals, including ones detrimental to their health. This is one reason amphibian populations are on the decline around the world. Because amphibians are so sensitive to changes in their environment, they are an ideal group to study to determine if there is anything wrong in the environment. By monitoring amphibian populations, scientists are able to detect when environmental changes occur.

 
American toad sits in the grass.
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

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Research Efforts

Voyageurs National Park currently has research and monitoring underway with various partners to study amphibian populations, including amphibian song monitoring. These collaborative efforts will help scientists to:
• Document the presence of amphibian species at selected locations
• Create a baseline of amphibian species present and the relative abundance of those species at monitoring sites
• Monitor factors such as water depth, water temperature, and air temperature to see if there are correlations between those factors and amphibian abundance and densities at selected sites
• Note any changes in amphibian populations that may be indicative of changes in climate, water quality, or habitat quality
The amphibian monitoring data collected in Voyageurs National Park are being used in support of the Terrestrial Wetland Global Change Research Network.

 
A light brown frog sits on top of a rock.
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

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Amphibians and You

Want to help scientists monitor and track amphibians in the park? It’s easy! All you need is a smartphone with a camera and/or a microphone and an account with herpmapper.org! If you see any amphibians in the park, simply take a photo with your phone and upload it to herpmapper. If taking photos isn’t an option, you can also make a recording of their song and upload that to herpmapper. If you do not know the species that you have, you can still upload your data and other members can identify it for you. Your contributions help scientists to monitor population sizes, species, and breeding seasons. Even the most common of species is useful data to upload! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and help contribute to science while enjoying nature!

Last updated: July 24, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649

Phone:

(218)-283-6600

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