Here's how a MN zoo is trying to help one of the world's rarest amphibians

Author:
Updated:
Original:

13 hundred tadpoles took a one-way flight to Wyoming.

That's it, there's no punch line.

Because it really happened. Como Zoo in St. Paul is one of the places where biologists are trying to save a type of toad that was once thought to be extinct.

In a behind-the-scenes part of the zoo they're breeding the Wyoming Toad. After the eggs are laid in May and June, the tadpoles hatch and are put in oxygenated water for overnight delivery to their native state where they're turned loose, the zoo says.

What's a Wyoming Toad?

We think you can guess where these toads live. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says they were common on the plains around Laramie, Wyoming, until the mid-1970s when the population crashed.

They went onto the endangered species list in 1984 but within a few years scientists thought they were all gone, Como Zoo says.

But then a group of 10 surviving Wyoming Toads was found near Mortenson Lake. Now nine zoos around the country are part of a species

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d1536746.5899767766!2d-106.92875887739167!3d41.21178466964397!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x8768618c60e9ec37%3A0xb2eb81ca0540e65e!2sMortenson+Lake+National+Wildlife+Refuge%2C+Laramie%2C+WY+82070!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1466738744654&w=240&h=240]

survival plan for the toads – breeding them in captivity and releasing the tadpoles in Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge. (The refuge is now closed to the public to try to improve the toad's chances. )

Adult Wyoming Toads are only a couple of inches long and weigh about an ounce-and-a-half, the Fish and Wildlife Service says. They eat bugs including ants and crickets.

Why did they nearly go extinct?

No one's really sure.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says there are several theories. Among them: pesticides, changes in agriculture, getting eaten by animals, disease, and climate change.

Como Zoo says on July 17 one of its zookeepers will travel to Laramie for some field research and to meet with representatives from other institutions working on keeping the Wyoming Toad alive.

https://www.facebook.com/986043211436785/videos/1058568677517571/

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.

Er-hgw7XYAQup5n

Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.

ambulance

1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Related