Volunteers help endangered toad

Volunteers help endangered toad

28 January 2012

published by www.kvue.com

USA — BASTROP, Texas — About 60 volunteers helped rebuild a habitat on Saturday deep in Bastrop State Park. Carrying bucket loads of mulch, they formed a human chain and ended up on the shores of a small lake where the endangered Houston toad lives.

“It is hard work, but you got to do it,” 12-year-old CJ Cooley said. He came with his father to volunteer.

Last summer, as the historic wildfire burned most of the park, officials worried about the future of the toad.

The largest-known population lives there, and numbers are in the hundreds. There was hope Saturday that it could have survived.

“We’re hoping that because they are buried so deep into the soil, they may have a chance at survival,” Ranger Katie Raney said.

An answer may come soon.

The toad typically makes an appearance in February and March, when the weather warms up.

Saturday’s mulch will help attract insects for their food and also help them hide from predators, if and when they reappear.

Last year’s fire burned much of the ground cover at the park, and this week’s rain washed away most of what was left.

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