Monday, May 9, 2011

Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Sapo Concho Puertorriqueno)

Dear Friends,
I recently visited Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World and learned all about the Puerto Rico Crested Toad. The toad is exclusive to Puerto Rico, and live in arid to semi-arid climates. They spend their days hiding in karst limestone formations, escaping from the sun's intense heat, and hunt for insects in the evening. Water is scarce for the toad within their habitat, and they are relatively inactive for most of the year, except during the hurricane season. Hurricanes bring rain to the islands and fill the breeding pond with water. The toads typically have a short opportunity to breed and quickly lay their eggs in the water after the first storm. Out of thousands of eggs laid, less than 1 percent are likely to survive to adulthood.

Because of habitat depletion, this species has been reduced to a single population in Guanica National Forest in southern Puerto Rico and is listed as a threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Less than 300 adult toads are left in the wild, approximately.

A Species Survival Plan (SSP) has been developed 20 years ago; the goals of recovery include:
  • Protect the breeding pond
  • Establish at least five self-sustaining wild populations through captive breeding and release
  • Maintain a genetically diverse captive population
  • Establish island-wide public education and outreach programs
  • Partner with Puerto Rican researchers to support recovery in the wild
  • Continue to search for toads in the northern part of Puerto Rico and conserve habitat

Ponds are currently being created and there are promising signs. For the first time since recovery efforts began, captive bred tadpoles that were released in Puerto Rico returned as adults in 2003 to lay eggs in man made ponds. This is a promising sign for the SSP reintroduction efforts.

For more information about this amazing animal, visit

Post information courtesy of the Puerto Rican Crested Toad Restoration Project. Also, contact Diane Barber at 817-759-7180 to help or contribute.

1 comment:

  1. og, I didn't know that toads have eggs and 99% of them don't survive, it's terrible for toad mother and father, agh


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