Installing Cover boards for Amphibians

Photo © Gord Lawton

Amphibians’ dual life-cycle of aquatic and terrestrial stages make them generally favor moist conditions. Untreated, hardwood boards, that are a minimum of 2×4 ft. and a ¼ inch thick or more will provide excellent conditions.

In drier areas, the thicker the wood cover board the more moisture will be retained underneath. Place the board in an area of your yard that is damp.

Coverboard Inspection

Photo © Ohio Sea Grant

You can lay it directly down on the ground. After placing the board, allow for several weeks to a month for the animals to be attracted to it.open_in_new It takes time and patience to see these secretive creatures on your property. Any wood that has been treated or has glues, including particleboard or plywood, is not recommended. These products can be made with contaminants that are toxic to the wildlife you are trying to attract. If using plywood, consider using formaldehyde-free plywood.

Spring Peeper - Pseudacris crucifer

Photo © Fyn Kynd

Remember, many amphibians’ permeable skins are sensitive to the oils on your hand and handling them can clog their pores or be poisonous to their system. Admiring them from afar is your best bet at keeping them and you safe.

Add a cover board to your Map


Photo ©

1. Sign into Habitat Network and navigate to your map via the Site Explorer. To add a cover board to your map, use the Tool Shed’s third step to add an object.
2. The objects bar will appear in the mapping area, scroll through the list of objects until you find “cover board.”
3. Click on the image of a cover board and place it on the map where the cover board is located. The vertices that appear allow you to size the image to represent the size of the cover board.
4. After you have added a cover board to your map, tell us about it. Use the “Info” button in the site overview panel to tell us about the cover board.


Photo ©

5. Once you are inside the info window, the panel on the left will help you navigate through the data entering process. The Basic Information and Characteristics tab allow you to enter and answer important questions regarding the cover board. By entering and answering these questions you are providing important data for scientist to use.

Log in with your Cornell Citizen Science Username and Password to leave a comment or ask a question

(This is the same username you use to sign-in to eBird, the Habitat Network, Celebrate Urban Birds, FeederWatch, NestWatch, Maccaulay Library)