Toad species native to Puerto Rico is now classified as critically endangered. However, Zoo Tampa sent thousands hatched tadpoles to Puerto Rico, this will help restore the population of this species. This week, tadpoles were airlifted to their native homes, as part of the effort to contribute to this specie’s survival.
The Puerto Rican toad once lived on the island but before the amphibian started becoming extinct as a result of natural disasters and habitat loss from urban development. This species is an important part of the island ecosystem. According to scientists, there are fewer than 3,000 toads in the wild.
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Only a few zoos across the world are involved in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan, and ZooTampa is one them. The delivery of tadpoles from Tampa was done with the aim of restoring this species’s population in Puerto Rico. ZooTampa is breeding tadpoles and sending them back to Puerto Rico.
These tadpoles represent hope for this critically endangered species. Bolstering the population of these toads in their natural environment is a real win for conservation and the core of our mission at ZooTampa.Associate curator for herbs and acquatics
These tadpoles were placed in protected shipping boxes. The boxes were filled with oxygen to ensure the well-being and safety of this species while journeying to their native land. They will be released into protected managed ponds.