By R. SCOTT RAPPOLD, The Gazette
CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (AP) — Number 146227157A struggled and chirped, clearly unhappy about being plucked from the bushes to be swabbed and scanned.
This mountain beaver pond, below Cottonwood Pass in Chaffee County, is the last stronghold for its kind in Colorado, the only place where the boreal toad has what is considered a viable population. The Colorado Division of Wildlife is concerned enough about the future of the species that experts implanted a microchip in the toad’s back to track its health and movements.
“He’s a natural part of our environment and we don’t want to lose him in this state,” DOW aquatic/herptile coordinator Tina Jackson said Friday, cradling the toad in her latex-gloved hands.
But we are losing them. Over the past 30 years, boreal toads have disappeared from 90 percent of breeding sites in Colorado, victims of an imported parasitic fungus that has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. Read more