Volunteer Frog Docents
One 5-hour training is held annually in early spring. Next training is Sat., Feb. 22, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-registration is required.
Watch your step from March-June when the eggs and tadpoles are at their most vulnerable to hikers and their pets!
The foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) is native to parts of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed and is listed as both a federal and state species of "special concern,” which means its population is declining. The foothill yellow-legged frog has disappeared from more than 45 percent of its historic range in Oregon and California due to:
- habitat loss and degradation,
- disease and
- introduction of exotic predators.
MMWD needs help from the community to stop the decline and help restore a healthy population within the watershed. Each year, we train docents to monitor habitat conditions and to educate hikers at Little Carson Falls, a popular hiking destination located about five miles outside of Fairfax and a breeding area for the foothill yellow-legged frog. Docents monitor the falls between March and June each year when the eggs and tadpoles are at their most vulnerable.
Volunteer docents are asked to commit to three 4-hour shifts between mid-March and early June. No previous experience or special knowledge is required. Frog docents must be at least 18 years old and capable of strenuous hiking.
Becoming a frog docent is a great way to get outdoors, have an extraordinary volunteer experience, and contribute to public understanding and protection of this native species. Yearly training is offered in early spring.
How did we do? 2013 Frog Docent Program Results
This spring 15 docents spent a total of 202 hours volunteering at the falls. Out of 46 possible weekend shifts, 40 were covered, an 87 percent success rate. During this time, docents spoke with 353 watershed visitors; this accounted for 96 percent of the 367 total visitors who hiked out to the falls during this eleven-week timeframe. Additionally 95 percent of those visitors were receptive to the contact that MMWD’s docents made with them. Out of the 48 total dogs brought to the falls, only 16 (33 percent) were unleashed, down from 54 percent in 2009!
Over the years, the Frog Docent Program has enjoyed great success. In the past nine seasons docents have volunteered over 1,000 hours at the falls. Through their efforts, 3,622 hikers have been informed about the vulnerability of FYLF and their habitat at Little Carson Falls.
MMWD would like to thank our 2013 docents for their extraordinary commitment of time and effort in helping monitor the frogs and educate the public. Thank you Bruce, Cindi, Diana, Diane, Howie, Ian, Janet, Jim, Lindsey, Lorri, Mike, Peter, Rob, Ruiz, and Tony.