Zoo News

Nov 17, 2011


BUFFALO, NY—On Tuesday, November 15, the Buffalo Zoo’s herp keepers gathered up 46 threatened tadpoles and prepared to ship them to Puerto Rico, where they were released into one of several sites in southern Puerto Rico on Thursday morning.

Found only in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican crested toads have rough, warty skin and are

olive green and brown in color, with shades of yellow on their heads.  As their name implies, they

also have a high bony ridge on their heads, which forms a “V” shaped structure.

In 1984, the Puerto Rican crested toad became the first amphibian to be placed in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help a species maintain a healthy and stable population. For more than 20 years, the Buffalo Zoo has been dedicated in working to save the Puerto Rican crested toad, which has become endangered due, in large part, to habitat loss. In recognition of the Reptile Department’s long-standing breeding efforts, the Buffalo Zoo was honored with the AZA’s Edward H. Bean Award in 1985, and was one of 22 zoos to receive the North American Conservation Award in 2004 for the Puerto Rican Crested Toad Species Survival Program Conservation Partnership.

Currently, 28 AZA institutions house Puerto Rican crested toad populations. The Buffalo Zoo is one of only a few zoos this year to hatch tadpoles. This is the first time since 2006 that the Buffalo Zoo has sent tadpoles to Puerto Rico to be released into the wild

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