Texas Horned Lizard Hatchling Release Might Save State Reptile
If you grew up in Texas in the 70's then you probably remember these cute little Horned toads. They were common, but now the Texas horned lizard is one of more than 1,300 species of concern in the state.
There is some good news as the state has been trying to raise the population of these sweet little lizzards. A coalition of zoos and wildlife scientists recently released 204 captive-raised hatchlings into the wild (100 of them hatched at the Fort Worth Zoo). The cool thing is that new evidence is showing that previously released lizards are now reproducing.
According to a press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department there is a landmark bipartisan proposal now moving through Congress, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, would bring the resources needed to save this species and hundreds like it.
It Looks Like Babies From 2019 Are Reproducing in the Wild
Last month TPWD biologists and graduate students found 18 hatchlings they think are offspring of zoo-raised hatchlings released in 2019. This just might mean that these little cuties survived long enough to reproduce in the wild. Aw, look at him! Isn't he cute?
The Research Has Been Going on For Over 10 Years
The research on restoring the population has been going on for more than 10 years with a lot of people and organizations working together. The group includes; Texas Horned Lizard Coalition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Christian University and zoos in Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.
There Were Difficulties at First
They at first tried to relocate the lizards but a lot of them were killed by predators. So they decided to work with zoos instead of giving them a more controlled living area without all the dangers. The great news is... it seems to be working!