Conservation Blog

Conservation Blog

Zoo celebrates the world's first IVF Houston toads

Meet Uri and Viola! The Fort Worth Zoo and partners from Mississippi State University are celebrating the world’s first Houston toads produced via in vitro fertilization (IVF). The first two toads produced using frozen-thawed semen, Uri and Viola, are being reared at the Zoo and their siblings were released in Bastrop County, Texas.  They were named after the two Texas winter storms that the team endured while working on this important research. This is a huge conservation... Read More
at Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Jamaican rock iguana escapes extinction thanks to conservation efforts

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is a comprehensive database that records the health of the world’s biodiversity, including a tool that manages a list of species and their status in the wild. In an effort to raise awareness about some of the world’s rarest and endangered animals, Jon Paul Rodriguez, the chair of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, has identified 10 critically endangered... Read More

Taking action to save the Texas freshwater mussels

    In Texas, you may hear the world “mussel” and think “invasive species.” While it’s true there are some freshwater mussel species that are invasive to our Texas waters and native animals, there are several mussel species that are threatened, endangered and even now extinct. This massive decline in populations has conservationists and researchers concerned and taking swift action to better understand this invertebrate species and develop... Read More

More flamingo hatchings for the Fort Worth Zoo

We’re Seeing Pink!  The spring and summer months mark the middle of flamingo breeding season, and this year 44 chicks have hatched at the Zoo: 12 Chilean, 24 lesser, and 8 Caribbean – representing three of the four species housed at the Zoo. Both lesser and Chilean flamingos are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Lesser flamingos are extremely difficult to breed in captivity and reproduce less than any other flamingo... Read More
at Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Louisiana Pine Snake Release

Fort Worth Zoo releases 23 Louisiana pine snakes - one of the rarest snake species in North America - into the wild     On Earth Day, 50 Louisiana pine snakes were released in to the Kisatchie National Forest – 23 of those released hatched at the Zoo. The Louisiana pine snake is one of the rarest snakes in North America, and the Fort Worth Zoo is one of only four breeding centers for this species. This was the fifth release the Zoo has participated in, and the... Read More
at Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Texas horned lizards survive the freeze

The record-setting low temperatures and extended durations of freezing weather that hit this past winter left some concerned about the status of the Texas horned lizards released in October, but they were resilient, safely hibernating beneath layers of sand and soil. All 19 lizards tagged from the fall release survived the winter. With the introduction of spring and warmer weather, the lizards are now awake and resuming post-dormant activities. Three adult lizards ranging from 2 to 3... Read More
at Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Fort Worth Zoo celebrates endangered Grand Cayman iguana hatchings

This is a first for us! We’re incredibly proud to announce the hatching of two Grand Cayman iguanas here at the Fort Worth Zoo! This iguana is an endangered species and around 20 years ago, less than 10 individuals remained in the wild. Thanks to managed breeding and conservation programs, that number has climbed to over 700, however feral cats and dogs are still major threats to the species’ survival. The two hatchlings are growing in a behind-the-scenes area of the Zoo... Read More

Fort Worth Zoo talks Texas horned lizard conservation

                                                  Fort Worth Zoo Curator of Ectotherms Diane Barber shares what made this recent Texas horned lizard release so important. Earlier in October, we released 105 Texas horned lizards into their native range at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area. In total, 260 lizards were released this year and 205 of those... Read More

58 and counting!

                                                                                                Little lizards! Lots of little Texas horned lizards have hatched at the Zoo recently (58 and counting). These guys will ultimately be released into the wild... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Conservation Action Plan for iguanas drafted

In November 2019, members of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Iguana Specialist Group (which includes Fort Worth Zoo staff) met on Roatán with local experts and stakeholders to draft a species Conservation Action Plan for Roatán spiny-tailed iguanas. This iguana is endangered due primarily to overharvesting for human consumption and sale and is found only on the small island of Roatán within the Bay Islands of Honduras. The overall goal of the plan was to... Read More
at Thursday, April 30, 2020