The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week the release of a final recovery plan for a rare toad whose population has been hit hard by a deadly fungal disease.
“This plan lays out a roadmap for saving one of America’s most imperiled amphibians,” said Tyler Abbott in a statement. Abbott leads the recovery effort of the Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) for USFWS. “In recent years, we have gained valuable insight into the threats facing the species as well as new techniques and technologies for addressing those threats. Our ultimate goal with this plan, which we will implement collaboratively with our partners, is to recover the Wyoming toad and return the species to state management.”
The toad was federally listed as endangered in 1984 in the U.S. and is currently classified as “extinct in the wild” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Around 500 individuals currently live in captivity, some of which will be used for reintroduction efforts.
Wyoming toads lived on the Laramie Plains of the state but populations crashed in the 1970s, likely as a result of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).
According to the USFWS, wildlife managers will have to successfully reintroduce at least five self-sustaining populations that persist for at least seven years within the toad’s historic range before it can be delisted.
|Joshua Rapp Learn is a science writer at The Wildlife Society.