Jim, Pam, Michael, Dwight, Angela, Phyllis, Stanley, Kelly, Oscar and Kevin, our ten Wyoming toadlets, have been fine-tuning their hunting skills up in CMZoo’s conservation center. These critically endangered toads, and many other amphibians, have a special way of distracting and attracting their meals: toe tapping. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “dancing for your dinner.”
We’re taking you on a wild adventure this year as we follow these ten individuals throughout their year in our conservation center and then as they’re released to the wild. The little toads have a big job: helping their critically endangered species recover in the wild waterways of Wyoming.
Why give a hop? Toads are worth saving. They play a vital role at the center of the prairie environment as the best bug control available and as sustenance for migrating birds and native mammals in search of food. If the toads don’t survive, the whole ecosystem suffers. They’re also what’s known as an indicator species, meaning they indicate the overall health of their ecosystem – and it’s in desperate need of attention.
Amphibians worldwide are facing mass extinction due to a pandemic known as the Chytrid fungus. Chytrid fungus causes a skin infection that hinders amphibians’ ability to breathe and absorb water. This often leads to organ failure and death. But, thanks to zoos like CMZoo, these hoppers stand a chance.
Over its 26-year commitment to Wyoming toad recovery, CMZoo’s conservation team has released 44,695 tadpoles and 1,510 toads into the wild. Next summer, these ten toads, and hundreds of their siblings currently growing up in the CMZoo conservation center, will take their first hops into the wild as part of this ongoing conservation effort.
Follow our Facebook playlist A Year in the Life of a Wyoming Toad