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JLWM8609

Bringing the Houston Toad back to the Houston Area

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Honest question. Not trying to piss anybody off. Why should I care?

Honest question. Not trying to piss anybody off either. If you didn't care, why reply?

Edited by JLWM8609
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Honest question. Not trying to piss anybody off either. If you didn't care, why reply?

To try and understand why people care, or whether I should.

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To try and understand why people care, or whether I should.

This may not result in you caring about the story as that's not my intention, but I posted it because I heard about the Houston Toad years ago and found it odd that I never saw any in Houston despite them being named after the city. This was the first time I'd seen an at length story about the toads and I figured there would be some interest in this story, not just because of the environmental nature, but the ties to Houston history too.

There was a discussion similar to this regarding the disappearance of lightning bugs in Houston on the Houston History Blog at the Chron. Folks recalled fond memories of the bugs from their childhood years, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are replies regarding fond childhood memories from the 50s and earlier relating to these toads.

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To try and understand why people care, or whether I should.

Because people care about the environment and the impact we have the environment. Specifically, amphibians are key indicators of what's going in the area. Why you should care depends on you.

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Honest question. Not trying to piss anybody off. Why should I care?

I believe they are trying to bring them in to repopulate them with "non indigenous" toads and see if they could displace them out into the subburbs.

They probably left in the 1950's as part of a mass exodus of people moving in. Toad Flight if you will.

It started in the 50's because it took quite some time to go out to the ex-ex-burbs.

The problems that were brought with it were horrible...segregated fly catching spots, they'd catch flies other toads didn't want..etc.

Just totally ruined the toad economy.

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I've been wanting to go to Lost Pines Hiking Trail in Bastrop State Park. People talk about seeing the Houston Toad there, and its one of the few state parks in Texas that allow primitive camping (i.e. camp virtually wherever you want rather than at camp sites.)

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/park_maps/pwd_mp_p4505_043c.pdf The toad is featured on the map. :3

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I've been wanting to go to Lost Pines Hiking Trail in Bastrop State Park. People talk about seeing the Houston Toad there, and its one of the few state parks in Texas that allow primitive camping (i.e. camp virtually wherever you want rather than at camp sites.)

There are numerous primitive camping opportunities throughout the State of Texas, whether you're talking about a state park, a national forest, a public beach, or along the riverbed of a navigable stream. It's actually pretty easy to isolate yourself from the crowd if you really want to.

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There are numerous primitive camping opportunities throughout the State of Texas, whether you're talking about a state park, a national forest, a public beach, or along the riverbed of a navigable stream. It's actually pretty easy to isolate yourself from the crowd if you really want to.

Yes, I have camped at many of them, including Davy Crockett NF, Angelina NF, several state parks, Padre.

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There are numerous primitive camping opportunities throughout the State of Texas, whether you're talking about a state park, a national forest, a public beach, or along the riverbed of a navigable stream. It's actually pretty easy to isolate yourself from the crowd if you really want to.

As an avid camper I can say that your right on Niche. There is a plethora of primitive camping throughout Texas. Recently a buddy and me braved primitive camping at "Lost maples state natural area" and it was tough, but fun.

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Not sure if there was anything done on this but there have been quite a few of these spotted in my back yard, namely under my back window in our outside dog dish, croaking at night. We have seriously seen 10 or so at one time... Over the spring and fall it was them and the geckos that kept the bugs out of the back yard. Should someone know about this? They are endangered still right?

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Primitive camping was not the term I intended to use, I meant to say backcountry camping, where a permit will let you camp virtually anywhere in the backcountry zone rather than designated primitive sites (as they have in Lost Maples SNA, for example).

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The Houston Zoo had an effort going back in the early 80's. I don't know what came of that effort, I guess that it didn't work out too well since they are trying again.

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The Houston Zoo had an effort going back in the early 80's. I don't know what came of that effort, I guess that it didn't work out too well since they are trying again.

Just found this guy under some bricks I'm cleaning out of my backyard... Relocated him into a similar spot, hope there isnt any issues with moving him.

post-3985-12611575675167_thumb.jpg

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Just found this guy under some bricks I'm cleaning out of my backyard... Relocated him into a similar spot, hope there isnt any issues with moving him.

The Houston Toad isn't the ordinary kind you're currently seeing in your yard or garden. It's a separate species entirely.

In the Houston area, toads. anole lizards and geckos usually hibernate during the cooler months. They'll put in appearance when there are enough insects around to sustain them.

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And how would one identify a toad of the Houston variety? Not that I frequently inspect toads, but what would be the distinguishing features?

On edit. Well here's a picture. Cute little thing, isn't he

Houston%20Toad%20Survey-crop0023.jpg

Edited by Subdude
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And how would one identify a toad of the Houston variety? Not that I frequently inspect toads, but what would be the distinguishing features?

On edit. Well here's a picture. Cute little thing, isn't he

Houston%20Toad%20Survey-crop0023.jpg

To add a bit. The toad in my hand is a Coastal Plains Toad... Welcome none the less in the yard.

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Honest question. Not trying to piss anybody off. Why should I care?

You know, I am an environmental scientist, I've devoted a lot of school and a lot of my career, as well as a lot of my community service time to the environment. However, I think it is a little silly to fret about every little species and spend time and money that could be spend elsewhere to try to reintroduce them. Do I want black bears reintroduced to Harris County? Cougars? No, thank you.They are beautiful, majestic animals, but I don't want them rummaging through my garden or running off with my dachshund as we walk through Terry Hershey Park. Nor do I want a once common resident called Plasmodium vivax. As toads go, I am happy enough with the gulf coast toad, which is very similar to the Houston toad, and loves to mate in my backyard pond, and fills an identical niche. What concerns me more are treefrogs, like the green tree frog, grey tree frog, and various chorus frogs that used to be so common in our area.

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There was a discussion similar to this regarding the disappearance of lightning bugs in Houston on the Houston History Blog at the Chron. Folks recalled fond memories of the bugs from their childhood years, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are replies regarding fond childhood memories from the 50s and earlier relating to these toads.

I have been hearing people say that lightning bugs are gone from Houston for almost 15 years now, though I have consistently seen them in Terry Hershey as well as where Fondren crosses Buffalo Bayou between Westheimer and Memorial. They are just hard to notice with all the modern light pollution, and also tend to be most noticeable when mosquitos are out, so most people aren't.

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Not sure if there was anything done on this but there have been quite a few of these spotted in my back yard, namely under my back window in our outside dog dish, croaking at night. We have seriously seen 10 or so at one time... Over the spring and fall it was them and the geckos that kept the bugs out of the back yard. Should someone know about this? They are endangered still right?

That's not Houston Toads, that is Gulf Coast Toads, fairly similar looking.

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Because people care about the environment and the impact we have the environment. Specifically, amphibians are key indicators of what's going in the area. Why you should care depends on you.

I think, though, that Houston toads, having been gone for nearly 60 years, are not really a key indicator of "what's going on" now, but rather something that happened a while ago. There are other indicators, just not the Houston toad.

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