– Post by Rachel Rommel
Crawfish season will soon be upon us and thousands of Texans will adorn bibs, dirty fingers and puckered lips to feast on the juicy tails of mudbugs. Although almost all of our crayfish is presently farmed to satiate the massive appetites for those craving these critters in the southern states, did you know that we have over 350 species of wild crayfish in North America, four of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act?
Crayfish are very important to the food web and are food for many water and land dwelling animals. Birds, fish, reptiles, mammals and amphibians all use these little guys as a food source. One in particular, known as the Crawfish frog, not only likes to eat crayfish, but also lives in their burrows! They are one of the most elusive, shy and beautiful amphibians inTexasand sadly, just like so may other amphibians, they are disappearing all over North America and maybe here inTexastoo.
Watch this awesome video of a male Crawfish frog calling and let me know what you think.
Please join the Houston Zoo on March 9th when we welcome Dr. Michael Lannoo who will present A Window into the Global Amphibian Crisis: Discovering the Biology of North America’s Most Secretive Frog as it Approaches Extinction. If you are an amphibian, prairie, or environmental enthusiast you must not miss this presentation! Dr. Lannoo’s love for this species shines through and his enthusiasm is truly infectious. Even the most hardened character cannot help but fall in love with this mysterious little frog.
“Whether as author, university professor, muddied researcher in a marsh, featured Discovery.com expert talking with kids about amphibian declines, or opponent in the political arena with Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura regarding the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s plan to drop funding for most deformed frog research, Dr. Michael “The Thinker” Lannoo loses no opportunity to go to the mat for amphibians.” -ChicagoFieldMuseum
There will also be an opening presentation by the Houston Zoo’s own Amphibian Conservation Manager, Paul Crump, who will be updating us on the status of theHoustontoad after theBastropfires. Our ambassadorHoustontoads will be present too! Come show your support cause frogs need lovin’ too!
Photo of a Texas Crawfish frog that was taken in the fall of 2011. Only a handful of Texas Crawfish frog photos exist.