In 1968, a small amphibian landed a spot on the list of “Rare and Endangered Fish and Wildlife of the United States.” Five years later, the Houston toad was included in the passing of the Endangered Species Act, one of the first amphibian species in the United States and maybe even the world to be recognized as declining. Today the Houston toad is no longer found in its namesake city, and fewer than 300 individuals remain in the wild, largely due to habitat loss. The Houston Zoo is working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas State University, and the Environmental Defense Fund to ensure the toad’s survival by caring for them in captivity in their early stages of life. It is estimated that one out of every 1000 toad eggs will make it to be an adult toad. Because tadpoles are food for just about everything in the pond, The Houston Zoo collects the eggs from the wild, lets them hatch and grow from tadpole to toad, and then releases them back into the wild. The Zoo also works with private landowners to restore habitat and monitor populations in Houston toad counties.
For more information about how you can help The Houston Toad, visit our own Houston Toad website.
Learning about endangered species is the first step in helping to protect them. According to iucnredlist.org, there are 5,689 known endangered species and 10,002 known vulnerable species on the planet. Can you imagine how different our Earth was before the populations for these species began dwindling? The Houston Toad is just one of the many species you can learn about. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more we can help protect the habitats of these precious creatures.
To learn about a new endangered species each day, visit the Rhythm of Conservation website. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has teamed up with K12 to bring you information on seventy-five different endangered species as well as fun activities for the kids! The best part is you can enter their sweepstakes daily, up to seventy-five days, for a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World! As always, you can visit our Conservation Blog for information about endangered species and what we can do to help!