SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 28 (UPI) -- A threatened Illinois frog species is the target of researchers who say the rare creatures live in just a few sandy areas suitable for their survival.
"It's really a challenging species to work with," Bob Bluett of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said of the Illinois chorus frog. "They are only above ground for a few weeks, and the habitats they choose to live in are here today, gone tomorrow due to weather, groundwater and other variables."
Scientists say the call of the chorus frog, starting just after sunset, can be heard as far as a mile away on a still night, The (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register reported Sunday.
Bluett and other researchers have been identifying likely habitats using computer models and sophisticated mapping software.
In dry years, the frogs may not be around at all, researchers said, then in wet years the chorus can be deafening.
Scientists say they're unsure what the Illinois chorus frog does in dry years, or what it does after the breeding season in years of ample moisture.
By finding the frogs and protecting their habitats, researchers say they hope to someday remove the Illinois chorus frog from the threatened species list.