On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, the Toronto Zoo was proud to announce that the 2016 Puerto Rican crested toad breeding program, which began on May 3, 2016, was extremely successful with over 6,000 tadpoles being sent to Puerto Rico that day. The tadpoles would be released in a private natural reserve near Arecibo in northern Puerto Rico the next day on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
The Toronto Zoo is excited to provide an update on this breeding program! Combined, Fort Worth, Jacksonville and Toronto Zoos sent 11,578 tadpoles to El Tallonal, Arecibo. The tadpoles arrived safely and are doing well.It was discovered that 14 adult Puerto Rican crested toads from previous releases were in the very same ponds the tadpoles would be released into, as well as tadpoles and toadlets from a natural breeding event in June. This is an important milestone for Puerto Rican crested toad recovery as it certainly appears that this population of reintroduced toads is progressing well.
The Puerto Rican crested toad is listed as a Critically Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is found only in Puerto Rico. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), tadpoles hatched at the Toronto Zoo are released in Puerto Rico each year for the purposes of sustaining and rebuilding the wild population.
The SSP for the Puerto Rican crested toad was developed, in part, to reintroduce the species back into the wild. The Toronto Zoo has been an active participant in the breeding program for over 30 years. We are proud to announce that, with the addition of this year’s tadpoles, the Toronto Zoo has contributed a total of 146,586 Puerto Rican crested toads being released back into the wild.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Toronto Zoo’sPuerto Rican Crested Toad Breeding Program.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Puerto Rican crested toad.
Photo Credit: Carlos Pacheco