You may have heard of a newly described species of leopard frog, the Atlantic Coast leopard frog (Rana kauffeldi) — also known as the coughing frog (main image, above). The chief zoologist at the New York Natural Heritage Program, Dr. Matthew Schlesinger, has organized efforts to learn more about the range of this newly described frog species with the support of a Regional Conservation Needs grant.
Where is this coughing frog and when can I find it?
The map of where participants can hear and record the coughing calls of the Atlantic Coast leopard frog can be seen below — we anticipate you’ll be able to hear the frog (listen to examples here and here) from now (mid-March 2015) til April here in the south (bright green on the map). It will likely be heard later as you hop further north. Note that folks might not hear the coughing frogs in Massachusetts until well into April, but researchers are unsure about timing which is why your data are so important!
The Atlantic Coast leopard frog is a newly described species and can’t be expected to conform to the date ranges previously identified for the Southern leopard frog it was previously confused with — so the old calling dates and ranges associated with the frog need to be parsed out. Its known range appears to be East Coast Coastal Plain areas from Connecticut to the Carolinas…and potentially further….we need you to help determine that range by recording its calls!