Saving Icons of Texas!
The Caldwell Zoo is thrilled to share exciting news about the Texas Horned Lizard. Our reptile team just released 18 hatchlings into their native habitat. The horned lizard had become a threatened species due to habitat loss and invasive fire ants. Their numbers had drastically diminished in areas across Texas.
Texas Parks and Wildlife initiated a program to breed horned lizards in carefully chosen facilities and then release the hatchlings back into protected habitats. The Caldwell Zoo, The Fort Worth Zoo, the Dallas Zoo and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center have all joined the program and their efforts are paying off.
Since its initiation over 1000 hatchlings have been released at the Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area. And now, we’re finding that some of these hatchlings are surviving their natural challenges and thriving. In fact, we’re seeing proof that some of the hatchlings are growing to maturity and breeding. Where there was once no horned lizards, we’re finding survivors!
Yvonne Stainback, Curator of Birds and Reptiles, at the Caldwell Zoo along with Reptile Keeper Dallas Goodwin made the long journey to the release site and were honored to be a part of this important conservation effort.
“It’s great to be a contributor to this program,” said Yvonne.
“It’s not easy. It takes a lot of resources and tremendous dedication. It’s a real team effort. William Garvin, our Reptile Supervisor has been like a doting father for these hatchlings and our entire zoo staff has supported us, even in gathering termite larva to feed the little lizards.”
It’s certainly worth the effort. Together we’re making a difference and saving wildlife!