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Endangered Drill Toad Gets Help From Denver Zoo and CPW

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife working with Denver Zoo to increase the endangered toad population and release 20,000 tadpoles into the Colorado wilderness the following summer.

“The drill toads are having a hard time, but their numbers are still relatively strong even though their populations are dwindling,” said Stefan Ekernas, Rocky Mountain/Great Plains Program Manager at the Denver Zoo. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife has done a lot to preserve pregnant toads for nearly 30 years, and we are excited to be part of the effort to help meaningfully recover this species while still there’s still time.”

The Facility for the restoration of native aquatic species, run by CPW, provided 95 breeding toads to add to the breeding population of their species.

The drill toad was once common in alpine habitats between 7,000-12,000 feet in the Southern Rocky Mountains. According to CPW, the dramatic decline in amphibians can be attributed to habitat loss and chytrid infections.

“We have had success producing toad eggs and tadpoles in the past at NASRF, but that has been challenging and with increasing demand for animals, we need to step up our breeding efforts and reproduce,” said Harry Crockett, Coordinator of Indigenous Aquatic Species for CPW.

NASRF is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating threatened and endangered aquatic species native to Colorado, according to CPW.

CPW and Denver Zoo officials expect this to be a multi-year program and estimate that it will take years to bring the species back to safe levels in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

The Denver Zoo’s wild release program will be a community science project with volunteers monitoring the survival of released baby toads.

https://kdvr.com/news/local/endangered-boreal-toad-getting-help-from-the-denver-zoo-and-cpw/ Endangered Drill Toad Gets Help From Denver Zoo and CPW

Emma Bowman

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