Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


NYC tadpoles fly to Puerto Rico

Central Park Zoo joins effort to save Puerto Rican toad

While many of New York's snow birds head south to Puerto Rico for time in the sun, a recent batch of first-time fliers--born and raised in the city--are heading down for a different reason: to save their own species. And tadpoles generally do not fly, unless they are part of a reintroduction program to save the Puerto Rican crested toad, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which has joined an ongoing effort to save the island's only native toad.

Specifically, animal husbandry experts from WCS have successfully reared nearly 500 tadpoles at the Central Park Zoo and recently released them in Puerto Rico's Guanica State Forest.

"The release went well, and we're hoping that this new generation of toads can help secure a future for this species" said Bruce Foster, Collections Manager for WCS' Central Park Zoo, where he and other curatorial staff successfully reared some 475 healthy tadpoles for the reintroduction effort. "Puerto Rico is an island of great natural beauty, and protecting the natural inhabitants of the island is an important part of preserving that beauty."

Foster flew down to Puerto Rico with his precious cargo and made the rendezvous with other participants at the release site: a manmade pond in Guanica State Forest. Combined with contributions from the Fort Worth Zoo, the Buffalo Zoo, and the Sedgwick County Zoo, a total of 2,700 tadpoles were released into the pond. The project is also supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Puerto Rican Department of Natural Resources.

"Only a small percentage of tadpoles reach adulthood, so releasing huge numbers of tadpoles is key to a successful reintroduction effort," said Diane Barber, Curator of Ectotherms at the Fort Worth Zoo and Coordinator of the Puerto Rican Crested Toad Species Survival Plan (SSP), a project founded in 1984 under the auspices of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). "The good news is we're starting to see evidence of success. Last year we witnessed the largest breeding event in 20 years at another site, and the current wild population estimate is 1,000 toads, up from only 300 from a few years ago."

Unlike the coqui, a small and widespread tree frog that is Puerto Rico's most popular amphibian (as well as the island's unofficial mascot), the Puerto Rican crested toad--with its distinctive, upturned snout, warty skin, and gold-colored eyes--has declined dramatically in number. Formerly a denizen of both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the toad is now only found in Guanica State Forest. The reasons for the decline: loss of habitat, and threats from introduced species such as the mongoose, rat, and the giant marine toad, the last of which competes with the Puerto Rican crested toad for the same resources. The species is now listed as Threatened on the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and as Critically Endangered according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN). "Participating in SSP initiatives like the Puerto Rican crested toad project is one way that zoos are helping to stop the global loss of amphibian species," added Foster. "To date, over 200 species of frogs, toads and salamanders have disappeared with another 1,000 species threatened with extinction."

Congressman José E. Serrano (D-Bronx) applauded WCS for playing a lead role in the federally supported initiative that is saving Puerto Rico's natural heritage. "We commend the Wildlife Conservation Society, its partners, and U.S. and Puerto Rican agencies for working to save Puerto Rico's only native toad species. A healthy environment is important for people and animals alike. What's good for the environment is good for Puerto Rico."

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>