Puerto Rican crested toad
At the Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo has been working to preserve the Puerto Rican crested toad since 1995 and has shipped thousands of tadpoles to Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, for release into the wild. In May 2015, a record-breaking 22,571 tadpoles were released while 20 remained at the Zoo for future breeding efforts. Establishing a new population of amphibians in their natural environment is enormously gratifying and one very important way we help to save amphibians. The Puerto Rican crested toads are generally well-hidden, but you can usually see their large eyeballs and pointy hooked noses peering out from under their limestone homes. They can almost completely flatten their bodies to fit into tiny crevices. The toads can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. When it opened, The Wall Street Journal dubbed it "Disneyland for toads".
The female crested toad is dull brown, while the male is olive green and gold. Both sexes have textured, pebbled skin, but the female's is much rougher and she has a high crest above her eyes. Both have marbled golden eyes.
Scientific name: Peltophryne lemur (also called Bufo lemur)
Continent: North America
Habitat: Dry, semi-arid sections of Puerto Rico
Size: 3-4 inches long
Weight: 2-6 ounces
Diet: Insects, worms and other invertebrates
Reproduction: Occurs in heavy rains. Sometimes it can be up to two years between breeding seasons.
Lifespan: Unknown in the wild; around 10 years in captivity
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Tiny radio transmitter "backpacks" have been placed on some of these toads by researchers to track their movements.