© Matthew S. Vaughan, Fort Worth Zoo
The endangered Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne lemur), like many amphibians world wide, is in critical danger of extinction. These toads are unique and easily identified by their turned up snout and bony head crest.
The greatest threats affecting the Puerto Rican crested toad are human-related and include habitat loss and the introduction of the invasive giant toad (Anaxyrus marinus). The wild population fluctuates between 1,000-3,000 adult toads, all of which are found in Guánica National Forest on the southern coast.
The AZA Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group and Puerto Rican Crested Toad Species Survival Plan® Program manage more than 750 Puerto Rican crested toads in 29 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. These institutions significantly contribute to the reintroduction of this toad into its natural habitat by annually hatching and releasing tadpoles into ponds constructed by conservationists in Puerto Rico. To date, over 167,000 tadpoles and 1,000 toadlets have been released back to the wild. The SSP now releases tadpoles at three sites in Puerto Rico, establishing new reintroduced populations, furthering recovery efforts for the crested toad.
The AZA Conservation Endowment Fund has provided over $60,000 in support of Puerto Rican crested toad conservation projects including:
Puerto Rican Crested Toad Facts
|| Females are larger than 4 inches and weigh 3-6 ounces, while males are smaller than 3 inches and weigh about 2 ounces.
||They are brown to yellow-brown in color and densely covered with warts and blackish spines.
||Crested toads live in low lying areas with rocky crevices or well-drained soil.
||The toads’ diet consists mainly of snails, beetles, and other bugs.
||Toads mate in seasonal pools called leks formed during the rainy season and have up to two years between breeding based on rainfall patterns.