Big Wyoming toad release offers hope for devastated species

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Cheyenne, Wyo. - The release of more than 900 Wyoming toads southwest of Laramie could aid future research into helping the endangered species and other amphibians resist a devastating fungus.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release the toads southwest of Laramie on Wednesday. The toads were raised on the other side of the Medicine Bow Mountains at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery.

The Wyoming toad is one of the four most endangered amphibian species in North America.

Some of the toads will be temporarily confined to cages placed in their habitat. The cages help keep predators away from the toads.

The goal is not only to boost toad numbers but to establish a population that will aid research into breeding toads to be more resistant to chytrid fungus.

The fungus has devastated hundreds of amphibian species worldwide.