SO WHAT’S THE POINT?
Every week, no that’s a lie! Every day, I consider the plight of some animal. I really have become obsessed with the reality of the fact that so many animals are in danger of becoming extinct. I know I’ve said this before—extinction is not unusual. It’s actually pretty normal and has been occurring for eons of time. It’s the percentage, the rate, and the number of species that are threatened with extinction that is the concern. We are currently experiencing the worse die-off of species since the disappearance of dinosaurs, and humans are the main cause of that die-off. That’s the point.
So I’ll keep making the point! I’ll continue to add my voice, as small as it might be, to the ongoing dialogue about what has been done and what needs to be done.
This week, I’ll talk about another very small creature, which has just as much a right to be here as we do, and it is critically endangered due to human encroachment. In this case, it is not farming or building homes that are the culprit, it’s tourism.
Meet the Puerto Rican Crested Toad, also known as the Lowland Caribbean Toad. It is so named due to its turned-up nose and ridges on its head.
The Puerto Rican Crested Toad is an amphibian, (cold-blooded frog, toad, newt or salamander, having a gill-breathing larval stage followed by a lung-breathing adult stage), which is found only on the island of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is the only toad native to Puerto Rico and at the current time, their population is estimated at about 2,400. At one point in time, this rare toad was believed to have been extinct. However, it was rediscovered in 1966. The IUCN* has listed it as critically endangered. The Giant Toad (Anaxyrus marinus) was introduced into their environment and now the Puerto Rican Crested is being threatened by its introduction.
A captive breeding program has been initiated and is currently being run by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “In 2013, the group released 71,000 tadpoles and 520 toadlets across three locations. The group has released 260,000 tadpoles over the last twenty years.” (Carlos Pacheco (17 January 2013). "The Puerto Rican Crested Toad")
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Here is a wonderful, short video created by the Wildlife Conservation Society. They are doing all they can to ensure the survival of this unusual toad.
To learn more about this critically endangered amphibian, visit the following sites:
To learn more about the extinction crisis, go to the following site:
*IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature
Thank you for stopping by and thinking about the Puerto Rican Crested Toad. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!