Calling All Frogs for the Environment

Australia's FrogPhone for Science


Source:  University of  New South Wales & University of Canberra

FrogPhone Science Calls to Remotely Monitor the Environment
This new innovation is a call for science. Australian researchers have developed the FrogPhone system, which once installed at a frog pond location,enables scientists to call in on their cell phones and remotely  listen in on frogs in the wild.  Why is that important?  It provides great access and data to monitor the health of the environment.  Frogs are widely recognized as one of the best barometers of how healthy local environments are.  The FrogPhone is a novel device and a technological first.

Frogs and the Quality of the Surrounding Environment
The FrogPhone allows scientists to call a frog screening site and monitor the frogs, real-time, in nature.  This is the world's first solar powered device that provides environmental data via text while conducting real-time sound surveys over the phone.  The quality of an area's frog population reveals the health of the surrounding environment.  Scientists determine the health of the frog population primarily by analyzing their vocalizations. The beauty of using the cell phone system is twofold.  It cuts the risk of disturbing the frogs in their natural surroundings and reduces the need for scientists to go to their swampy habitats.

Solar Powered FrogPhone
The Australian FrogPhone is solar-powered and waterproof.  Once installed at a frog pond location, the scientists can call in and monitor the frogs at any time over a 3G-4G cellular service.  The device also gathers data on air and water temperature and on its own battery status.  The inventors at the University of New South Wales and the University of Canberra say it can detect frog sounds from a 100 to 150m radius.  Their unique device and findings were just reported by the British Ecological Society Journal.

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