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Farmland back into wetland

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The government's Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers to return a certain amount of agricultural fields to their original wetlands. As Tanya Ott reports, a new study finds those efforts might be paying off.

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Research ecologist Hardin Waddle and his colleagues at the US Geological Survey wanted to know how frogs and toads were faring in ditches and creeks on farmland versus restored wetlands. So they suited up and set out into the Mississippi Delta on a frog hunt.

"We went out there at night with flashlights and we captured any individual we saw. We measured them and we looked for any kind of growth abnormalities or things like that."

They didn't find disease, but they did discover significantly more frogs and toads on the marginal farmland that had been restored to wetlands. Waddle says amphibians are great indicators of the overall health of wetland conditions. So that means restored wetlands can be just as good for frogs and toads as preserved wetlands.

For the Environment Report, I'm Tanya Ott. 

Copyright 2010. The Regents of the University Of Michigan. Used with permission.

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