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Toronto Zoo is Celebrating World Wetlands Day with a NEW Adopt-A-Pond App!

By Sithara,
Namaste Newsline,
February 4 2018

Report Native Frog, Toad and Turtle Sightings with the Adopt-A-Pond App!

Even though there is snow on the ground, World Wetlands Day falls every year on February 2nd, and the Toronto Zoo celebrated this annual date with the official launch of the Adopt-A-Pond App! After extensive design, testing and tweaking, the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Programme is proud to announce the official launch of a new citizen science app that will take our Turtle Tally and FrogWatch programmes to the next level!

The Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme works to design and deliver impactful conservation-focused research, restoration, and outreach that highlights the importance of saving Canada’s sensitive wetland species and their habitats. This app is the next step in reaching out to engage more Canadians in protecting local biodiversity through citizen science.

Biologists from the Toronto Zoo and the team at LBC IT Solutions Inc, with the support of Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, have created an app with the purpose of encouraging public awareness and participation as a citizen scientist with Turtle Tally and FrogWatch.The information gathered from this new app will help to identify abundances and locations of frogs, toads and turtles, which is crucial to prevent further population loss for these native groups of wildlife. Participants in our Turtle Tally and FrogWatch programs will find it easier than ever to share their observations with our team by submitting sightings through the app or our new and improved web reporting system on the Zoo website.

If you are unfamiliar with the Turtle Tally and FrogWatch programs, there is no need to worry! It is easy and fun to start saving our local species! Do you think you may have spotted a Blanding’s turtle, Gray tree frog or maybe an American toad? If so, please record the details of your experience by downloading the Adopt-A-Pond App! Information from your findings will be shared with our partner organizations, including the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (Ontario Nature) and the Natural Heritage Information Centre (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), to help determine the status of native reptile and amphibian populations and to supplement conservation programs and initiatives.

The Adopt-A-Pond App is fun and easy to use and, with you assisting our biologists, we can map where these threatened and endangered native species can be found. You can download this app through the IOS App Store and Android Google Play Store today!

“The new Adopt-A-Pond App makes it even easier for every Ontarian, young and old, rural and urban, to use our flagship Citizen Science programmes to contribute directly to scientific research and direct conservation actions that benefit the wildlife and habitats that we all rely on,” says Dr. Andrew Lentini, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles, Toronto Zoo. “Through our App even seemingly small local initiatives can make a big difference to wildlife.”

Do you often see frogs and turtles in the wild? If so, please record the details of your experience by downloading the Adopt-A-Pond App or submitting your information through our new Turtle Tally and FrogWatch web forms! Information from your findings will be shared with partner organizations to determine the status of native frog and turtle populations and to supplement conservation programs and initiatives. With your help, we can provide a safe and cleaner environment for these fascinating creatures.

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