About Them: A toad that was thought to be extinct, but was found on private land. From that group of toads multiple groups have been working together to bring the toads back to a self sustaining population. Presently they continue existing in the wild because of reintroduced young every year although, the efforts are getting closer to seeing the toads reproduce in on their own.
These are a species created from a glacial divide from thousands of years ago. They evolved to survive in southern Wyomings. They are a palm sized toad that swims a lot more than I was expecting of a toad.
Their plight: There is not one specific reason why the toad declined. There are multiple factors that played a role, sprayed pesticide, altered landscape – diverting water from ponds, and the dreadful amphibian killer – chytrid fungus.
What we should consider: The toads are seeing recovery because everyone is working together. This is a marvelous story of private land owners, Fish and Wildlife, zoos and citizen scientists coming together and taking action. If all species on the Endangered Species Act had this kind of care behind them we would see a lot more success. Even with that, recovery takes years possibly decades. It is always important to remember that when judging the ESA on how well it is performing.
Please remember the ESA has already been changed. States are going to be more responsible for implementing and creating recovery plans for endangered species within their borders. It is more important than ever to look locally to help.
I wanted to point out this well phrased line by Kelsey Dayton from her WyoFile article “Amphibians are considered indicator species and often when populations decline it’s a sign of problems within the ecosystem that can later impact other species.” Humans are part of the ecosystem too, we are lucky in that we can change it to suit our needs, but there will be a point of no return for our survival. The amphibians are showing us how important it is to be careful.
What is being done: Private land owners are on board allowing their land to be reintroduction sites for the captive breed toads. Many organizations have come together to research these animals and sort out what they can do to make a self sustaining wild population again.
How to help: Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.
Support can be:
- donating to science groups
- helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
- being a citizen scientist through
- land restoration project
- trash clean ups
- species counts
- bio blitzes
- getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.
Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.
Further Reading, my sources:
National Geographic’s version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHVIymD3Ppk
Kansas City Zoo’s version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuELw7PjpQA
[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]