Monday, March 23, 2020

Episode 517 (3-23-20): Exploring Water Connections to the COVID-19 Virus

Click to listen to episode (5:02)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-20-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 23, 2020.

This week, we feature music inspired by the microbe-caused events shaking the globe.  Have a listen for about 40 seconds.

MUSIC – ~ 43 sec – instrumental.

You’ve been listening to “Corona Cue,” by Torrin Hallett, a student at Manhattan School of Music in New York.  The whole world is responding to unprecedented cues from the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, which is causing the respiratory disease called COVID-19.  As is well-known now from instructions to maintain social distance, the COVID-19 virus is transmitted primarily through the air on droplets from an infected person’s respiratory system.  From a water-resources perspective, there’s no evidence currently that this virus is water-borne.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC), document titled “Water Transmission and COVID-19,” last updated on March 10, quote “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.  The risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person is…unknown; however, the risk is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (or SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (or MERS),” unquote.

Besides being considered as not water-borne, perhaps COVID-19’s most important connection to water in the current emergency is that washing one’s hands with soap and water acts to impair the virus’s particles and remove them from the skin.

Virginia Water Radio will continue to look into any water connections to the coronavirus pandemic and possibly have additional episodes on the topic.  As the CDC states in its online COVID-19 “Frequently Asked Questions,” “There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.”

Thanks to Torrin Hallett for creating “Corona Cue” for Virginia Water Radio.  We close with some more music, not inspired by COVID-19 but with a message fitting the big, common challenge facing people everywhere; here’s about 40 seconds of “On a Ship,” by Blacksburg, Va., singer-songwriter Kat Mills.

MUSIC – ~ 39 sec – Lyrics: “We are on a ship, a great big ship. It takes all of us, to take care of it. And we can use the stars to navigate our trip; we are riding on a ship.”

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“Corona Cue” is copyright 2020 by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  Torrin is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio; as of 2020, he is a graduate student in Horn Performance at Manhattan School of Music in New York City.  More information about Torrin is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  Thanks very much to Torrin for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.

“On a Ship,” from the 2015 album “Silver,” is copyright by Kat Mills, used with permission. Accompanists on the song are Ida Polys, vocals; Rachel Handman, violin; and Nicholas Polys, banjo.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at http://www.katmills.com/.  This music was most recently featured in Episode 500, 11-25-19.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES


Structure of coronaviruses, in a public domain image by Alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins; accessed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Image Library, online at https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=2871.  Following is the caption provided by the CDC with the image, as of 3-23-20: “This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically.  A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019.  The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”


Transmission electron microscopic image of a tissue isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. The spherical viral particles are colorized in blue.  Public domain image by Hannah A. Bullock and Azaibi Tamin; accessed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Image Library, online at https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23354, 3-23-20.


Poster with key information about COVID-19, provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accessed online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html, 3-23-20.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 IN WATER SYSTEMS

The following information is quoted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Water Transmission and COVID-19” (last reviewed 3-10-20), accessed online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html, 3-23-20.

“The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.  Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces?
The virus that causes COVID-19 has been detected in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19.  The amount of virus released from the body (shed) in stool, how long the virus is shed, and whether the virus in stool is infectious are not known.  The risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person is also unknown.  However, the risk is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).  There have been no reports of fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 to date.

“Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?
CDC is reviewing all data on COVID-19 transmission as information becomes available.  At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low.  Although transmission of COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date that this has occurred.  This guidance will be updated as necessary as new evidence is assessed.  SARS, a similar coronavirus, has been detected in untreated sewage for up to 2 to 14 days.  In the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was documented transmission associated with sewage aerosols.  Data suggest that standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices may be sufficient to inactivate coronaviruses, as long as utilities monitor free available chlorine during treatment to ensure it has not been depleted.  Wastewater and sewage workers should use standard practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as prescribed for current work tasks.

“Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus?
Wastewater treatment plant operations should ensure workers follow routine practices to prevent exposure to wastewater.  These include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE normally required for work tasks when handling untreated wastewater.  No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for employees involved in wastewater management operations, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Commonwealth of Virginia, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Virginia,” online at https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates/; specifically “Frequently Asked Questions,” online (as a PDF) at https://www.virginia.gov/media/vagov/documents/covid19/General-Questions-FAQ-v2_FINAL.pdf,

Aimee M. Gall et al., “Waterborne Viruses: A Barrier to Safe Drinking Water,” PLOS Pathogens, June 2015, online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4482390/ (subscription may be required for access).

National Institutes of Health, “New coronavirus stable for hours on surfaces—SARS-CoV-2 stability similar to original SARS virus,” 3/17/20 news release, online at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces.

Maxwell Posner and Elena Renken, “Hand-Washing Can Protect You From Coronavirus. But You Need To Do It Right,” NPR, March 7, 2020, online at https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/07/812861599/a-90-second-video-on-how-to-master-the-20-second-hand-wash.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.  Specific sections used:
“How It Spreads,” online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html.
“Frequently Asked Questions,” online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.  (This is the source of the CDC comment used at the end of the audio.)
“Water Transmission and COVID-19,” as of 3-20-20, online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html.  (Information from this source is in the “Extra Information” section above.)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives,” online at https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater,” online at https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater.

For More Information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Harvard University Medical School, “Coronavirus Resource Center,” online at https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-resource-center#Prevention.

National Academy of Medicine, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—News and Resources from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,” online at this link.  As of 3/19/20, this site included “Rapid-response Initiative,” “Discussion Paper,” “Commentary,” “News,” “Events,” “Selected Resources,” and “For More Information.”

World Health Organization, “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters,” online at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Science” subject category.

Following are links to episodes using other musical selections composed by Torrin Hallett (listed in alphabetical order by the musical selection).

“Geese Piece” – Episode 335, 9-26-16 on the Canada Goose; and Episode 440, 10-1-18, on E-bird.
“Lizards Who Lunch” – Episode 514, 3-2-20, on lizards.
“New Year’s Water” –Episode 349, 1-2-17, on the New Year.
“Rain Refrain” – Episode 338, 10-17-16, on rainfall measurements; and Episode 455, 1-14-19, on record Virginia precipitation in 2019.
“Tropical Tantrum” – Episode 369, 5-22-17 and Episode 423, 6-2-18, on the upcoming Atlantic tropical storm seasons in 2017 and 2018, respectively; Episode 438, 9-17-18, on hurricane basic facts and history; and Episode 489, 9-9-19, on Storm Surge and Hurricane Dorian.
“Turkey Tune” – Episode 343, 11-21-16, on the Wild Turkey.

Following are links to some other episodes on water and human biology.

Neurons, Ions, and Water – Episode 450, 12-10-18.
On Water, Biology, and Basketball – Episode 466, 4-1-19.
The Flu and Water – Episode 393, 11-6-17.
Water’s at the Heart of Blood – Episode 392, 10-30-17.
Water and the Human Skeleton – Episode 287, 10-26-15.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decisions, hazard mitigation, and cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystems.
5.5 – cell structures and functions, organism classification, and organism traits.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Virginia watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.3 – cellular organization, including cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
BIO.4 – life functions (including metabolism and homeostasis) in different organism groups, including human health, anatomy, and body systems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Economics Theme
2.8 – natural, human, and capital resources.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.9 – how national events affected Virginia and its citizens.
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

United States History: 1865-to-Present Course
USII.9 – domestic and international issues during the second half of the 20th Century and the early 21st Century.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – government at the national level.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.8 – government at the local level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.2 – how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.
WG.18 – cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – national government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Episode 516 (3-16-20): A Spring Serenade, 2020 Edition

Click to listen to episode (4:19)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-13-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 16, 2020.

MUSIC – ~ 10 sec – instrumental.

This week, that excerpt of “Late Winter,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, opens an episode focused what follows late winter, and that’s, of course, spring.  In the Northern Hemisphere in 2020, winter departs as the spring equinox occurs on March 19 at 11:49 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  To mark spring’s arrival, we offer a second edition of an episode first done in March 2014, featuring a spring serenade of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 30 seconds, and see if you know these sounds occurring now, or soon, in Virginia.  And here are some hints: atmospheric thumping, puddle jumping, nest feathering, and mammals flying.

SOUNDS - ~29 sec

If you guessed stormy weather, frogs, birds, and bats, you’re right!  After the sounds of a spring thunderstorm, you heard two frog breeding calls, from the Upland Chorus Frog and the Southern Toad; then, bird calls from the Bank Swallow and Spotted Sandpiper; and finally, vocalizations by bats.

Frogs, birds, and bats are among the thousands of species of animals and plants, found either seasonally or year-round in Virginia, responding to spring’s increasing daylight, temperature, and availability of water and food to increase their activity, particularly their reproductive activity.  Active animals and weather patterns combine to make a rich spring soundscape, the start of a long series of warm-season events and sounds.  Here’s hoping that your spring and summer include opportunities to hear the natural world at work on Virginia’s waters and lands.

Thanks for this week’s frog sounds to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and to Lang Elliott’s NatureSound Studio, from the 2008 CD, “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads”; and thanks to Lang Elliott, again, for the bird sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.  Thanks also to Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand for permission to use “Late Winter,” from the 2004 album, “Driftage.”  We close with about 10 seconds of another Andrew and Noah tune, “Corbin Hill,” whose name has nothing specific to do with spring, but whose rapid tempo fits spring’s accelerating outdoors pace.

MUSIC - ~ 13 sec –instrumental.

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A previous “spring serenade” episode was Episode 206, 3-24-14.

“Late Winter/Corbin Hill,” from the 2004 album “Driftage,” is copyright by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand and Great Bear Records, used with permission.  More information about Andrew and Noah and their bands is available online at https://www.andrewandnoah.com/andrewandnoah/dev/music/.

The thunderstorm sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio on April 20, 2015, in Blacksburg, Va.

The Upland Chorus Frog and Southern Toad sounds were from “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads” CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and Lang Elliott/NatureSound Studio, used with permission.  For more information on this CD, contact VDGIF online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/; by mail to P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228-0778; by phone to (804) 367-1000 (VTDD); or by e-mail to dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov.

The Bank Swallow and Spotted Sandpiper sounds were from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott.  Lang Elliot’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

The bats vocalization was from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/audio/id/9/rec/3, as of 3-13-20.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.

IMAGES


Southern Toad in South Carolina in 2012.  Photo by Mark Musselman, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov; specific URL for the photo is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/14186/rec/1, as of March 16, 2020.


Bank Swallows (lower birds) with Violet-green Swallows (upper birds) image from a painting originally published between 1827 and 1838 by John James Audubon in Birds of America (plate 385).  Image made available for public use by the Audubon Society, online at https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america; specific URL for this image is https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america/bank-swallow-and-violet-green-swallow#, as of March 16, 2020.


Eastern Red Bat, photographed in Amherst County, Virginia, December 14, 2019.  Photo by Andrew Elgin, made available on iNaturalist at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36656287, as of March 16, 2020, for use under Creative Commons license “Attribtution-NonCommercial 4.0.”  Information about this Creative Commons license is available online at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Vigdis Hocken, “Spring Equinox—Vernal Equinox,” online at https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/spring-equinox.html.

John D. Kleopfer and Chris S. Hobson, A Guide to the Frogs and Toads of Virginia, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Bureau of Wildlife Resources Special Publication Number 3, Richmond, 2011.

Stan Tekiela, Birds of Virginia Field Guide, Adventure Publications, Inc., Cambridge, Minn., 2002.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia’s Wildlife,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/wildlife-information/; and “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Title=VaFWIS+Species+Information+By+Name&vUT=Visitor; hyperlinks for the animals mentioned in this episode are as follows:
Upland Chorus Frog;
Southern Toad;
Bank Swallow;
Spotted Sandpiper;
bats (various species).

For More Information about Bats, Birds, and Frogs in Virginia and Elsewhere  

Bats


John D. Altringham, Bats—From Evolution to Conservation (Second Edition), Oxford University Pres, Oxford, U.K., 2011.

Bat Conservation International, online at http://www.batcon.org/.

National Speleological Society, online at http://caves.org/.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Natural Heritage Division, “Cave and Karst Protection,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/karsthome.shtml.

Michael J. Harve, J. Scott Altenbach, and Troy L. Best, Bats of the United States, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Asheville, N.C., 1999.

Phil Richardson, Bats, Firefly Books, Buffalo, N.Y., 2011.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Midwest Region, “Glossary of Acoustic Bat Survey Terms,” online at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/mammals/inba/surveys/inbasurveyglossary.html.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Natural Heritage Division, “Bats of Virginia,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/karst_bats.shtml.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Bats,” online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bats/.

White Nose Syndrome Response Team, online at https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org/.

Birds

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo ID.”  The application for mobile devices allows users to submit a bird photograph to get identification of the bird.  Information is available online at http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, “eBird,” online at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/.  Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.org/.  The Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation Web site, online at http://www.xeno-canto.org/.  The site provides bird songs from around the world.

Frogs and Other Amphibians

AmphibiaWeb, online at https://amphibiaweb.org/index.html.

Bernard S. Martof et al., Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1980.

J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); available online (as a PDF) at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/atlases/mitchell-atlas.pdf, courtesy of the Virginia Herpetological Society.

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at https://animaldiversity.org.

Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS), “Frogs and Toads of Virginia,” online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/frogs_and_toads_of_virginia.htm.  The VHS supports the scientific study of amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) and reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles).

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia is for Frogs” Web site, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/virginia-is-for-frogs/.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife Information,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/.  A list of amphibians found in Virginia is online at this link.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Amphibians,” “Birds,” and “Mammals” subject categories.

Following are links to episodes featuring the animals heard in this week’s episode.

Bank Swallow: Episode 329, 8-15-16 – on swallows generally.
Southern Toad: Episode 482, 7-22-19 – on the Southern Toad and the Oak Toad.
Spotted Sandpiper: Episode 264, 5-4-15 – on seeing the Spotted Sandpiper and Baltimore Oriole at the New River.
Upland Chorus Frog: Episode 464, 3-18-19 – on the chorus frog group.

Following are links to other episodes about spring.

Episode 157, 4-15-13 – on spring bird migration, featuring warblers.
Episode 212, 5-5-14 – on spring wildflowers, featuring “Flowers of the Forest” by No Strings Attached.
Episode 308, 3-21-16 – on spring generally, featuring “Until the Summer Comes” by The Steel Wheels.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2013 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2010 Science SOLs  

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme

K.10 – Changes in natural and human-made things over time.
1.7 – changes in temperature, light, and precipitation affect plants and animals, including humans.
2.7 – Weather and seasonal changes affecting plants and animals.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Virginia natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
2.4 – life cycles.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Virginia watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.

Biology Course
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Geography Theme
1.6 – Virginia climate, seasons, and landforms.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Episode 515 (3-9-20): The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog Calls from Many Southern Water Spots

Click to listen to episode (3:50)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Images
Extra Information
Sources
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)


Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-6-20.

TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 9, 2020.

SOUND – ~4 sec

This week, that mystery sound opens an episode about an early breeding frog commonly found in the eastern half of Virginia as well as throughout the southern United States.  Have a listen for about 10 more seconds and see if you know this frog.  And here’s a hint: think of a big cat and you’ll hit the spot on part of this amphibian’s name.

SOUNDS - ~11 sec

If you guessed a leopard frog, you’re right!  You heard the male breeding call of the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog, from the 2008 CD, “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads,” by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Lang Elliott’s NatureSound Studio.  On that CD, the call is identified as that of the Southern Leopard Frog, which until a few years ago was the common name of this species.  The now Coastal Plains Leopard Frog is one of several North American species of leopard frog, including the Northern, Plains, Rio Grande, and Mid-Atlantic Coast leopard frogs; the latter is a newly confirmed species, just scientifically documented in 2014.  The leopard frogs, along with the Bullfrog, Green Frog, and several other species, and are in the scientific genus called Lithobates, meaning “stone that walks.”

The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog is found from Long Island, New York, to Florida, across the South to Texas, and up the Mississippi River basin to parts of the Midwest.  In Virginia, it breeds relatively early, starting in March when large groups gather and males begin making advertisement calls, such as you heard earlier.  This frog inhabits ponds, swamps, ditches, stream margins, and other freshwater habitats, as well as somewhat salty coastal marshes, although it can venture some distance from water if plants are available for cover and shade.  Its food is primarily insects that it hunts on land; in turn, it’s preyed upon by a variety of animals, including birds, mammals, and various snakes that eat adult frogs, while eggs and tadpoles are eaten by fish, salamanders, aquatic insects, and fishing spiders.

Thanks to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and to Lang Elliott for permission to use this week’s sounds, and we let Coastal Plains Leopard Frogs have the last call.

SOUNDS – ~8 sec

SHIP’S BELL

Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Coastal Plains/Southern Leopard Frog sounds in this episode were from “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads” CD, copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and Lang Elliott/NatureSound Studio, used with permission.  For more information on this CD, contact VDGIF online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/; by mail to P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, VA 23228-0778; by phone to (804) 367-1000 (VTDD); or by e-mail to dgifweb@dgif.virginia.gov

Lang Elliott’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

Thanks to Kevin Hamed, Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, for his help with this episode.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at http://www.bencosgrove.com.

IMAGES

Coastal Plains Leopard Frog, photographed at Assateague Island National Seashore in Virginia, April 7, 2019.  Photo by Joe Schell, made available on iNaturalist at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/22151626 (as of 3-8-20) for use under Creative Commons license “Attribtution-NonCommercial 4.0.”  Information about this Creative Commons license is available online at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.


Virginia county occurrence map for the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (formerly the Southern Leopard Frog).  Map from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Coastal Plains Leopard Frog Occurrence,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?Menu=_.Occurrence&bova=020016&version=18325.

EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE COASTAL PLAINS LEOPARD FROG

The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog’s scientific name is Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius.

The following information on this species is quoted from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), “Fish and Wildlife Information Service/Life History Chapter for Frog, Coastal Plains Leopard,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?Menu=_.Life+History&bova=020016&version=18325.

Physical Description

“This species reaches lengths between 51 and 90 mm [millimeters] (2-3.5 in).  The record length is 5 inches. The dorsal coloration is brown, green or some combination.  There are a variable number of longitudinally elongated dorsal spots which may be entirely absent.  The side of the body has only a few dark spots.  There is a distinct light spot in the center of the tympanum [ear] and a light line along the upper jaw.”

Reproduction

“This species breeds in winter or early spring, occasionally in the fall.  The male breeding call is described as a series of 3 to 5 guttural croaks followed by 2 or 3 ‘clucks,’ resembling the sound made by rubbing an inflated balloon. Males are difficult to approach when calling. …The female attaches a cluster of several hundred eggs to vegetation submerged immediately beneath the water surface.  Eggs will hatch in 1-2 weeks. …Metamorphosis occurs in about 3 months when the tadpole reaches 65-70 mm.”

Habitat and Behavior

“This species is found in all types of freshwater habitats [but more frequently is associated with ponds, ditches, swamps, and lake and stream margins] and even enters slightly brackish coastal marshes.  They forage mostly on land. Insects are their primary prey item though they also feed on other arthropods and worms.  This species will travel away from water when vegetation is available to provide shelter and shade.”

SOURCES

Used for Audio

Chesapeake Bay Program, “Southern Leopard Frog,” online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/southern_leopard_frog1.  This site has information on predators of the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (former Southern Leopard Frog).

John D. Kleopfer and Chris S. Hobson, A Guide to the Frogs and Toads of Virginia, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Bureau of Wildlife Resources Special Publication Number 3, Richmond, 2011.  Includes the CD “The Calls of Virginia Frogs and Toads,” 20008, copyright by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Lang Elliott’s NatureSound Studio.

Bernard S. Martof et al., Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1980.

J.C. Mitchell and K.K. Reay, Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Virginia, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries/Richmond (1999); available online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/atlases/mitchell-atlas.pdf, courtesy of the Virginia Herpetological Society.

North Carolina State University Extension, “Fishing Spiders and Wolf Spiders,” online at https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/fishing-spiders-and-wolf-spiders.

Roger Powell et al., Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Mass., 2016.

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at https://animaldiversity.org.  Leopard Frog species and other members of the Lithobates genus are listed at https://animaldiversity.org/search/?q=Leopard+Frog&feature=INFORMATION.

Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS), “Frogs and Toads of Virginia,” online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/frogs_and_toads_of_virginia.htm.  The VHS supports the scientific study of amphibians (frogs, toads, and salamanders) and reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles).  The VHS’ Coastal Plains Leopard Frog entry is online at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/southern-leopard-frog/southern_leopard_frog.php.  The “Frog Calling Schedule” is online (as a PDF) at https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/amphibians/frogsandtoads/_phenology/va-frog-and-toad-phenology.pdf.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/.  The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius) entry is online at https://vafwis.dgif.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=020016&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=18325.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Wildlife Information,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/.  A list of 85 amphibians, including 28 frogs and toads, found in Virginia is online at this link.  The Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) entry is online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/southern-leopard-frog/.

For More Information about Frogs and Other Amphibians

AmphibiaWeb, “Order Anura—Frogs and Toads Species List,” online at https://amphibiaweb.org/lists/alpha/A-Ate-Anura.shtml.  Note that this site uses the older name Rana for the genus Lithobates (as of 3-6-20).

FrogWatch USA, online at https://www.aza.org/frogwatch.  According to this Web site, this is the American Zoological Association (AZA)'s “citizen science program and provides individuals, groups, and families opportunities to learn about wetlands in their communities by reporting on the calls of local frogs and toads.”

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia is for Frogs” Web site, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/virginia-is-for-frogs/.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Amphibians” subject category.

Following are links to episodes on other frog species in Virginia in the Lithobates genus (the genus that includes the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog).

Episode 74, 8-8-11 – American Bullfrog
Episode 310, 4-4-16 – Green Frog.
Episode 408, 2-19-18 – Frog and toad call medley, including Bullfrog, Carpenter Frog, Green Frog, Pickerel Frog, and Wood Frog.
Episode 509, 1-27-20 – Wood Frog.

FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION

The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

2010 Science SOLs

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
1.5 – animals’ basic needs and distinguishing characteristics.
2.4 – life cycles.
3.4 – behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.4 – organisms’ classification based on features.
LS.8 – community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
BIO.6 – bases for modern classification systems, including structures, biochemistry, and developmental stages.
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.