News Release Archive

The Frogwatch program at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural
History has won the 1996 Canadian Museums Association Award for
outstanding Achievement in the Presentation category.

Frogwatch competed against 39 other nominees from across the
country, essentially making it the best museum program in Canada.

Frogwatch is a hands-on natural science project in which
thousands of people of all ages help record the coming of spring
and monitor amphibian populations and wetland habitats in Nova
Scotia. The project increases public awareness of science and
nature while gathering important data. Information was carefully
collected and reported weekly to the Frogwatch headquarters at
the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.

Currently, scientists are wondering if there are fewer amphibians
and reptiles but are unable to say so for sure. If these animals
are in danger, scientists need to know now before it is too late.
A healthy wetland and amphibian population also means a healthy
environment for people.

The Frogwatch program is divided into two parts: The Peeper
survey tracks the first spring call of the chorus of the Northern
Spring Peeper as they wake from their winter hibernation. The
peeper, a tiny tree frog, about the size of a quarter, is rarely
seen but often loudly heard. The froglands survey has
frogwatchers observing a "frogland", which is basically any wet
area - where amphibians (toads, newts and salamanders) live for
part of their life cycle.

Frog News, the program's newsletter shared the collected data
with its participants. With the help of the media, items on first
reports of peeping choruses, champion frogwatchers and stories on
population numbers were featured.

In additional to the obvious scientific benefits, Frogwatch is
simple and fun. School children, adults and individuals became
involved with nature while making significant contributions.
Frogwatch has also developed partnerships and long-term
relationships among scientists, museum curators, non-government
organizations and educational groups.

Laurier Lacroix, chair of the awards committee, said, "Frogwatch
met in fine fashion with all of the basic requirements of the
association in matter of excellence, spirit of leadership,
creativity, and efficient use of resources. In the context of
very strong completion, these achievements have allowed your
project to stand the merit of the CMA Award."

The award was given to project coordinators Sue Brown, Rhea Dawn
Mahar and Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History designer, David
Carter. The award and its achievements is shared with its
participants and partner agencies including; the Clean Nova
Scotia Foundation, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, and
Envirosphere Consultants Ltd.


NOTE TO EDITORS: The Giant Peeper on the side of Museum of
Natural History, Summer Street, will sport a first prize ribbon.
The ribbon will be placed on the frog at 1 p.m. Wednesday
Sept. 11.

Contact: Brenda Boutilier  902-424-6513

trp                    September 11, 1996 - 9:05 a.m.