Conservation Blog - October 2017

Conservation Blog

Anegada iguana

Anegada iguana Fifteen years ago, the Anegada iguana conservation program was established to offset the mortality rate of young iguanas on the small island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. Since then, Fort Worth Zoo conservation biologists have made significant strides in the conservation of this species. These accomplishments include determining the optimal size and survivability of released headstarted animals, initiating a mark-and-recapture program, creating a secondary means of... Read More

Panama visit to celebrate the Panamanian golden frog!

Good conservation programs have strong community outreach programs to encourage local persons to care about their endemic species, but in the case of the Panamanian golden frog, the local community of El Valle de Anton, Panama LOVES their golden frog! In mid-August, the Fort Worth Zoo Assistant Curator of Ectotherms Vicky Poole, along with colleagues from the Maryland Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, and the Detroit Zoo were in El Valle to assist with the community celebrations for the national... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Chiricahua Leopard Frog work

The Chiricahua leopard frog ( Lithobates chiricahuensis ) is a threatened species found exclusively in isolated areas within Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico. The Fort Worth Zoo is one of two zoos working with this species and celebrated the first-ever successful Chiricahua leopard frog breeding. This is the first time this species has been bred in an entirely indoor environment. Thanks to the careful manipulation of environmental settings, three females laid eggs naturally without the... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Texas Horned Lizard work

Through a partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Christian University and a private landowner, the Fort Worth Zoo located the first reintroduction site that fits the environmental and habitat models needed for Texas horned lizard ( Phrynosoma cornutum ) survival. Horned lizards hatched at the Zoo have been released in the site at various ages and tracked to determine the most effective reintroduction methods. Although translocation projects have been attempted,... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Turks and Caicos Iguana work

The critically endangered Turks and Caicos iguana ( Cyclura carinata ) occupies less than five percent of its historic range due to increasing urban development and the introduction of mammalian predators. Fort Worth Zoo staff initiated a conservation project for this species by investigating on-island translocation methods. Since the project began, Zoo staff has been tracking iguanas’ movement patterns with radio transmitters and analyzing vitals on each iguana during both wet and dry... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Hellbender work

The hellbender ( Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis ) is the oldest living amphibian in North America and is experiencing declines throughout its range in the eastern United States. This large salamander is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate for threatened species listing. As part of a headstart program, the Fort Worth Zoo received 20 hellbenders as small larvae in 2007 that were hatched from an egg mass in West Virginia. Four years later, those hellbenders were transferred to... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Puerto Rican Crested Toad work

Listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Puerto Rican crested toad ( Peltophryne lemur ) is the only toad native to Puerto Rico. The Fort Worth Zoo has played an active role in the conservation of this species through a strong captive management and reintroduction program. The Zoo’s Executive Director, Michael Fouraker, and Curator of Ectotherms, Diane Barber traveled with two... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Caribbean flamingo work

Fort Worth Zoo bird staff traveled to Great Inagua National Park, Bahamas to help mark and identify a flock of Caribbean flamingo chicks ( Phoenicopterus ruber ). Nearly 200 flamingos were given ID bands, weighed, measured, and some birds had blood drawn for health and genetic assessment. After this process was completed, the birds were released into the lagoon to rejoin their colony. The Bahamas is home to the second largest group of nesting Caribbean flamingos and little information was... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

Conservation Partnerships

Conservation Partners Fundamental to the Fort Worth Zoo’s success is the staff that works tirelessly at home and around the globe, keeping the organization’s commitment to conservation a top priority. The Fort Worth Zoo supports projects in more than 30 countries around the world and promotes conservation efforts for a variety of species ranging from elephants to toads. Since 1993, Zoo staff has been instrumental in the development of numerous nonprofits dedicated to species... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017

What is Conservation

What is Conservation? In addition to providing an entertaining and educational experience for their visitors, modern zoos play a critical role in wildlife conservation, at home and around the world. Zoos contribute to conservation in four primary ways: research, education, preservation of genetic diversity, and direct support of wild populations and their habitat. Research Any successful endeavor begins with knowledge. Likewise, with conservation we must first know as much as possible... Read More
at Monday, October 2, 2017