There are many Milwaukeeans that are interested in the reptilian residence of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring endangered species and has put the Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) on their list.
The Blanchard's Cricket Frog range from Texas and the Gulf Coast to southern Wisconsin. They live in streams, ponds and wetlands. In the early the early 1970’s these tiny frogs were prevalent. However, because of the rapid decline in their population they were put on the Wisconsin endangered species list in 1982.
There is no hard evidence for the reason of the reduction in their numbers. It is known that they do not tolerate polluted water. The possibility of the impact of reduced habitat in southeast Wisconsin and the increase in pesticides may be a factor.
They feed on small insects, slugs, and crickets. A study of 100 frogs estimated that they ate 480,000 insects and small invertebrates in one season at a small pond.
Named after herpetologist Frank Nelson Blanchard, these little frogs are less than two inches long, have a moist warty skin and a voice like a cricket.
The wildlife in southeast Wisconsin is the environmental barometer. Their existence has a direct impact on the human population. These little frogs are being surveyed and observed by volunteers. Milwaukeeans who are interested in becoming a long term volunteer contact BER.