Traffic Noise Drowning Out Frog Mating Calls

Chances are you’ve heard the Pacific chorus frogs’ call before. Its classic “rib-bit” is featured in basically any movie that needs frog noise.

The Pacific chorus frogs’ call is ubiquitous in the Northwest. But the amphibians are having more and more trouble hearing themselves. 

Traffic is drowning them out.

During mating season the chorus of “rib-bit” “rib-bit” “rib-bit” attracts the females to ponds where they mate.

“So if he’s got a nice, deep, sexy voice they’ll find him more attractive,” said Danielle Nelson, a doctoral student at Oregon State University. “If he calls more often, they’ll find him more attractive.”

Females can sort through up to eight frogs at once, when they’re looking for a partner. 

Nelson found that Pacific chorus frogs don’t adjust their “rib-bits” to the noise level around them. 

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