ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo have sent 400 Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles to Puerto Rico to be released in the wild as part of the zoo’s increasing conservation efforts.
The News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/2e1bumR ) reports that the zoo currently has about 30 crested toads, which are bred so that tadpoles can be sent to Puerto Rico. The species is critically endangered and the only type of toad native to the island.
Zoo curator Dustin Smith says the crested toad has always been rare, but its population has been especially hard hit by habitat loss and degradation.
Over the past 30 years, the population of crested toads in the wild has fluctuated between 300 and 3,000.
Since 1984, 19 institutions have sent more than 350,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico.