As part of Citizen Science Month 2023, we’re sharing excerpts from ‘Into the Zooniverse’, a series of books celebrating the projects and people of the Zooniverse.

You can find and download all editions of ‘Into the Zooniverse’ here.


ONE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING frog behavior, as well as their interactions amongst each other and their environments, is through their song. Frog species have unique songs, which may change in response to environmental pressures and other noise sources (e.g., insects, birds, airplanes, etc.). As such, recordings of frogs singing in their natural environment are invaluable to researchers hoping to glean insight into the secret life of our amphibious friends.

Historically, recording animals (particularly in the wild) has been limited by technological constraints. Recorders were only able to operate for so long, prior to running out of storage or battery. Scientists were limited to short bouts of recordings; anywhere from weeks to months at a time. However, more recently, these constraints are being alleviated, and long term audio recordings have been made cheaper and more accessible to researchers worldwide. FrogSong researchers at James Cook University and Monash University are capitalizing on these technologies by collecting long term recordings of frogs in the wild, in different habitats across Australia. To parse through such lengthy recordings, they’re enlisting the help of Zooniverse volunteers to classify frog songs. With this data, they will be able to train computers to detect and classify frog song from recordings, and elucidate the mysteries of wild frog communities! 

Image credit: FrogSong Project

Summary by: Mary Westwood

Check out this project: here

View the full ‘Into the Zooniverse’ book: here