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Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum

Report by Galen Hunter

Frog Songs at the Old Salt Lake

This report documents frog songs heard in the early evenings of March 9-16th 2016 coming from one of the former oil tank basins at the Old Salt Lake site. The documentation presented here includes two photographs, an audio recording and a video/audio recording. The initial hypothesis is what was heard are Pacific Tree frogs (Pseudacris regilla).

The observation presented here of what is believed to be the sound of frogs was made at night and bit of a distance from the basin. Further investigation is suggested because frogs were not seen. A physical inspection of the site is recommended to confirm (or not) the observation. Since, frogs are a known biological indicator of the health of the ecology of a place and since frogs are known to successfully live only in fresh and non-chlorinated water, further investigation could also include independent testing and analysis of the chemistry of the water currently in the basin frog songs were heard from, as well, as testing the water in the three adjacent basins to the north. The basin to the south is at a slightly higher elevation and is always dry.

Moreover and briefly about the levels of water in this basin and the others over the recent winter months. While rain directly into the basin did increase the water level in it accordingly, curiously, the water level would not decrease as expected by evaporation during periods of no rain. Instead, the water level would actually increase. While observing the sound of frogs during March 9-16th and again observing the water level on March 18th and 19th, the level was about the same on the 9th and through the 16th, but the level was observed to be down considerably on the 18th and more so on the 19th. By March 20th, the water in the basin where frog songs were heard, was nearly gone.

Audio recording March 13, 2016 7:45pm (MP3, 2 minutes and 8 seconds)
Audio of frog songs

Video recording March 16, 2016 7:45pm (MP4, 51 seconds)
Video and audio of frog songs

The area observed for recording (night), March 13, 2016 7:45pm:

Photograph of the above same place (during the day) March 18, 2016 7:00am. Note: not seen in this photograph is the big tree adjacent to this basin on the left.