University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts North American Amphibian Program

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Massachusetts Monitoring Protocols: Sampling Periods and Conditions

Sampling Periods

Each route is to be sampled four times in the spring and early summer, once within each of the specified sampling windows listed below.  The route should be run on nights when:

  • Temperatures are expected to remain above a given threshold for each window (see below);
  • There is little or no wind (< 3 on the Beaufort Scale) ; and
  • There is no rain significant enough to affect your ability to detect calling frogs at a distance.

If you do not find a night with appropriate sampling conditions within a sampling window choose the next appropriate night after the window.

Physiographic
Region

Window
 

Sampling
Dates

Temperature
Threshold

Target
Species

Glaciated Coastal Plain

1

Floating

42 F

Wood frog, spring peeper, American toad

 

2

April 24 to May 10

50 F

Spring peeper, American toad, pickerel and leopard frogs

 

3

May 25 to June 9

50 F

Pickerel, leopard & green frogs, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

 

4

June 24 to July 9

55 F

Green frog, bullfrog, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

Southern New England

1

Floating

42 F

Wood frog, spring peeper, American toad

 

2

April 24 to May 10

50 F

Spring peeper, American toad, pickerel and leopard frogs

 

3

May 25 to June 9

50 F

Pickerel, leopard & green frogs, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

 

4

June 24 to July 9

55 F

Green frog, bullfrog, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

Central New England

1

Floating

42 F

Wood frog, spring peeper, American toad

 

2

May 1 to May 17

50 F

Spring peeper, American toad, pickerel and leopard frogs

 

3

June 1 to June 15

50 F

Pickerel, leopard & green frogs, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

 

4

July 1 to July 15

55 F

Green frog, bullfrog, gray treefrog, Fowler’s toad, Eastern spadefoot

North Berkshire

1

Floating

42 F

Wood frog, spring peeper, American toad

 

2

May 12 to May 25

50 F

Spring peeper, American toad, pickerel and leopard frogs

 

3

June 9 to June 23

50 F

Pickerel, leopard & green frogs, gray treefrog

 

4

July 8 to July 22

55 F

Green frog, bullfrog, gray treefrog


The first window – a “floating window” – is a two-week period commencing after the first warm rainy night of spring (March or early April). This is usually the “big” or “first” night of amphibian movement we have become accustomed to waiting for every year. For those years that lack a clearly defined “big night,” begin this sampling window when you first detect strong choruses of wood frogs in the general area.

Here is a list of the Massachusetts NAAMP Routes and the physiographic regions in which they occur.

Massachusetts Calling Amphibian Routes

Route Name

Route Number

Physiographic Region

Arlington

470603

Southern New England-MA

Auburn

470403

Southern New England-MA

Boston

470503

Southern New England-MA

Brockton

470103

Southern New England-MA

Centerville

470306

Glaciated Coastal Plain

Chelmsford

471003

Southern New England-MA

Colrain

470602

North Berkshire

Ct River

470902

Southern New England-MA

Dunstable

470803

Southern New England-MA

Essex

470104

Southern New England-MA

Hardwick

470802

Southern New England-MA

Hinsdale

470401

North Berkshire

Ipswich

470204

Southern New England-MA

King Corner

470402

North Berkshire

Quabbin

470102

Southern New England-MA

Rowley

470604

Southern New England-MA

Royalston

470702

Central New England-MA

Russell

470202

Central New England-MA

S. Athol

470302

Southern New England-MA

SE Mass

470506

Glaciated Coastal Plain

Tyngsboro

470703

Southern New England-MA

Vineyard Haven

470206

Glaciated Coastal Plain

W. Barnstable

470406

Glaciated Coastal Plain

Williamsville

470201

Central New England-MA

Worcester

470903

Southern New England-MA

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USGS NAAMP Massachusetts North American Amphibian Monitoring Program