Archive for August 25th, 2011

Hangin’ With Houston Toads

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

SFX [Houston toad call]

The Houston toad makes that sound, and it’s become a rare sound over the past two decades. Years of drought and habitat destruction have diminished the Houston toad population to only a few hundred.

Michael Forstner is a professor at Texas State University.

Through the Texas parks and Wildlife Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), he’s worked with private landowners in Bastrop County to restore habitat for the Houston toad.

10—Most of the people in Bastrop want to live in Bastrop County because it looks a certain way. And if it keeps looking like the lost pines, we keep the toad.

So what do these “lost pines” look like?

21—Imagine a cathedral forest. Most of the habitat that we find Houston toads doing the best in, whatever that means for its current levels, are gallery forests. Those are the forests that you see in the images for computer desktop wallpapers. Those are large-trunked trees with open space beneath them.

By planting the fast-growing loblolly pine trees, a habitat can be restored in about twenty years.

So if current efforts are successful, Forstner says the Houston toad population could make a comeback.

07—The best thing about the Houston toad is they make 6,000 eggs at a time. Those babies just need a place to grow up.

Find more information on endangered species, including the Houston Toad, on the Texas Parks And Wildlife website.

The sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series… For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.