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'A Perfect Storm': Plague Of Frogs Overruns Otter Creek Area

The Otter Creek area is seeing a population surge of hundreds of thousands more northern leopard frogs than usual.
Calgary Reviews
The Otter Creek area is seeing a population surge of hundreds of thousands more northern leopard frogs than usual.

Vermonters in the area of Otter Creek in Cornwall, Leicester, and Salisbury have been noticing something remarkable lately: hundreds of thousands more frogs than usual. Northern leopard frogs to be exact, in lawns, in pools, and — unluckily for the frogs — on the roads.

Herpetologist Jim Andrews, director of the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas and a Salisbury resident, has been bombarded with questions about the population explosion.

"Longtime residents are telling me that this exceeds all of the other emigrations that they've ever seen," Andrews said. "And people who are trying to drive the roads, who live in that area are just saying it's horrible. There's no way to avoid the number of frogs that are moving across these roads."

Andrews attributed the surge to flooded fields staying wet longer this year. Northern leopard frogs lay their eggs in those fields.

"Mama frogs had a perfect storm helping them out here," Andrews said. "And then we had this spell of warm weather. When they have this warm weather, they can develop faster."

Andrews hypothesizes that conditions like this are becoming more prevalent due to climate change, and he predicts that the range of the frogs may expand.

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A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Sam held multiple positions at Vermont Public Radio for several years, including managing editor of the award-winning programVermont Edition, and morning news editor.
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