16 Jun
16Jun

Omagakii is the Anishinaabemowin name for frogs. Omagakii along with many other amphibians such as salamanders, toads, newts and mudpuppies are known as bioindicators. This means that the presence, or lack of presence, that a species has, can tell us a lot about the environmental health of their habitat. Amphibians are very connected to water, especially in their early stages. The eggs they lay are suspended in water, and in their tadpole stage they breathe in oxygen through gills.  

 As adults they breathe partially or entirely from their skin. This makes them more likely to absorb pollutants in water, soil and air where they live. As these beings are smaller, the effect pollutants have is often more severe than it would be for humans. The lack of amphibians in an environment is often a sign of health hazards or risks.  

Land Invitation: Observe the populations of amphibians around you

Pick a place you like to visit that could support amphibian species. Ponds, streams, and creeks are often a good place to start. Investigate what species of amphibians are usually present in your area. When you are familiar with the species, monitoring their presence can tell you a lot about the health of the area. Do you notice more after a rain? Is there a disruption to the habitat?