Thousands of Endangered Crested Toad Tadpoles Released In Puerto Rico

Thousands of Endangered Crested Toad Tadpoles Released In Puerto Rico. The Chicago Zoological Society has sent just over 8,200 tadpoles that hatched at Brookfield Zoo to be released to the wild in Puerto Rico. The species, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, is the only toad native to Puerto Rico. Since 2015, the CZS has provided nearly 21,000 tadpoles for release to the wild . Easily identifiable by its distinctive head crest, the toads only breed during cyclonic events, like a hurricane, when major low-pressures systems are present. Brookfield Zoo’s animal care staff created breeding habitats behind the scenes at the Living Coast building to mimic their natural environment featuring a man-made system that allows for a simulated heavy rain to occur. For several weeks, the temperature in the toads’ habitat is dropped and then raised again over the course of a week to help hormones develop. Female crested toads then lay eggs that appear in long strands, which tadpoles hatch from within a couple of days. The tadpoles from Brookfield Zoo are being released in Río Encantado, Ciales, located in the central mountain range of Puerto Rico.