Today we’re celebrating the hatching of our 600th Texas horned lizard right here at the Fort Worth Zoo. This hatching is an incredible milestone for our Texas horned lizard program, which has boasted immense success in saving this species since its inception in 2000. It wouldn’t be a proper celebration without acknowledging the dedicated staff, partners and wildlife conservationists who helped make our Texas horned lizard breeding program the success story it is today.
Ours is the first zoo to successfully breed and maintain a population of Texas horned lizards, and this species has always had a special place in our hearts. We know the love for this lizard reaches well beyond the borders of the Fort Worth Zoo. Sharing the methodologies and strategies we’ve learned over the years with other institutions and communities is crucial for our fight against horned lizard extinction. By collaborating with institutions around the state, we do our part in bolstering breeding populations and creating more healthy horned lizard bloodlines. For this reason, fostering information exchange and partnerships remains a top priority through our programs and efforts.
Alongside successful breeding programs, the Zoo has also achieved many other significant highlights in the fight for the Texas horned lizard. Since 2011, the Zoo has reintroduced 157 Texas horned lizards back into the wild and is currently conducting a state-wide health evaluation and pathogen screen of these free-ranging horned lizards to assess health data and understand prevalent pathogens. More information on all of our Texas horned lizard projects and achievements can be found on our Conservation Blog.
While celebrating the 600th Texas horned lizard hatching is the latest milestone in the long journey to saving this species, today is a testament that the hard work dedicated to our Texas horned lizard breeding program is well worth it. These 600 hatchings over the years have helped to multiply and expand endangered populations, putting this lone star lizard one step ahead in our quest to see the species thriving again throughout the state.