Why wait for Easter for an “egg-travaganza?!”

The Houston toad team at the Houston Zoo has been working up a storm this spring – a storm of Houston toad eggs! As of this writing, the team has bred 23 groups of adult Houston toads (the groups consist of either one female and one male or one female and two male) since the middle of February using assisted breeding methodologies. In total, we have produced ~80,000 Houston toad eggs!! This is more than twice as many as we produced last year and is a tremendous success for our program!! However, I’m sure you are all wondering just what in the world are we doing with all of those eggs??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Each and every one of the Houston toad egg strands produced at the Zoo going back to the wild to help augment the wild population.  Researchers from Texas State University (TSU) are strategically placing the egg strands in two counties, Austin County and Bastrop County, which are in the historic range of the Houston toad. Both of these counties still harbor small, wild populations of Houston toads that are being monitored by TSU and USFWS.

Researchers from TSU and Houston toad staff and interns are placing the eggs inside protective, wire cages as the strands are placed into the release ponds. Cages? What are those for? One of the biggest complications for the Houston toad recovery effort is that everything LOVES to eat Houston toads – especially their eggs! Birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, raccoons, you name it; they all love to snack on tasty toad eggs. The cages prevent these hungry critters from feasting on these precious, endangered egg strands, helping to ensure that many of these eggs will survive to make tiny toadlets!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TSU researchers are monitoring each of the release sites and are on the lookout for Houston toad tadpoles and metamorphs. Are the cages working? Are the eggs going to hatch? Stay tuned to find out!



Search Blog & Website
Subscribe to Houston Zoo News
Get the latest stories and updates from the Zoo in your inbox! Find out how: Houston Zoo News
Houston Zoo Facebook Page
Houston Zoo added a new photo — in Sukau, Sabah, Malaysia.
Houston Zoo

Thursday's update from SMG's trip to Borneo is up now! www.houstonzoo.org/saving-wildlife/journey-to-borneo/ ... See MoreSee Less

3

Thursdays update from SMGs trip to Borneo is up now! https://www.houstonzoo.org/saving-wildlife/journey-to-borneo/
Houston Zoo added a new photo.
Houston Zoo

Jack the ocelot and his tiny snowman friend (and some tasty meatballs!) ... See MoreSee Less

3

Jack the ocelot and his tiny snowman friend (and some tasty meatballs!)

 

Comment on Facebook

Jack is so cute I wish I could take him home and cuddle with him.

Look, Steve Hawkins! Ethan’s favorite animal there!

Bret!! :DDD