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1,875 Puerto Rican Tadpoles Hatched and Released into the Wild.




Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo® has successfully hatched 1,875 critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles. The tadpoles were shipped to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 for release into a protected toad habitat.

The tadpoles were hatched from one pair of adult Puerto Rican crested toads at Omaha’s Zoo Amphibian Conservation Area (the only one of its kind in the U.S.). The toads were paired on Monday, May 2, 2011and by the following morning all the eggs were laid. By Wednesday, May 4, all the eggs were confirmed to be fertile. The Puerto Rican crested toad lays eggs in long strings, attaching the eggs to plants. The tadpoles are approximately a quarter of an inch from head to tail.

Since 2003 Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo has released 8,903 tadpoles and with this latest breeding, the Zoo has pushed that number to over 10,000.

Omaha’s Zoo has been involved with this distinctive toad since 1997. Once thought to be extinct in the wild, the Puerto Rican crested toad was rediscovered in the late 1970’s and brought into captivity to create the first Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program for amphibians, which helps ensure the survival of selected wildlife species. Puerto Rican crested toads are critically endangered due to habitat destruction, pollutant and competition for food and breeding sites with the giant marine toad from South America that was introduced into Puerto Rico in the early 1900’s.

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is located at Nebraska’s I-80, Exit 454 and is open year-round. Summer hours are now through October 31, 2011 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission prices for 2011 are $13.50 for adults, $9.00 for children (ages 3 – 11) and $12.00 for seniors. Household memberships are available for $99 and include free IMAX® admission. Memberships are valid until March 31, 2012. Additional information can be found on the website www.omahazoo.com.




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