Laramie, WY – Researchers looking for endangered Wyoming
toads during a recent population count in the Laramie Basin say they heard male Wyoming toads calling out for mates.
That's offering more hope that efforts to bring the toad back from the brink might be producing results.
The Wyoming toad was thought to be extinct in the 1980s. But a population found in 1987 at Mortenson Lake southwest of Laramie was used to launch a captive breeding program.
The effort has involved scientists at zoos and universities around the nation. At the heart of the program is the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery at Saratoga. Thousands of toads from the hatchery are released each year.
During a toad population survey in May, researchers heard male toads calling out for mates. Researchers say that behavior gives the scientific community reason to be optimistic that the toads might be breeding on their own in the wild.