The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium recently received a $5,000 donation from APC, an LGI Company, to support its Wyoming Toad conservation efforts through purchase of a brumation chamber.
The Museum & Aquarium has been propagating endangered Wyoming Toads since 2007. Classified as “extinct in the wild”, in the 1990s the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collected the last 12 Wyoming Toads known to exist. Captive breeding then began and was successful enough that zoos and aquariums were invited to assist in propagation efforts.
The brumation chamber is a hibernation chamber for cold-blooded animals intended to assist in these propagation efforts. Wyoming Toads need a brumation period prior to breeding. The Museum & Aquarium currently uses a residential refrigerator for these brumation efforts. Having been modified for its current purpose, the unit is not as regulated and effective as a true brumation chamber.
“Since 2007, we have propagated and released over 40,851 Wyoming Toad tadpoles,” said Andy Allison, Director of Living Collections. “Our facility accounts for 22 percent of all Wyoming Toads produced in this timeframe. We anticipate the new brumation chamber will improve our success rates in future years.”
APC is a local Dubuque plant that produces proteins for agricultural animals and is beginning expansion to other species.
“At APC, our company focuses on helping animals thrive,” said James Oberman, Dubuque Plant Manager. “We offer innovative solutions that help improve the lives of animals. The Wyoming Toad project is a great fit for us as we look to support activities that are also innovative. With the Wyoming Toad population in peril, we are happy to be a partner in the recovery of this species.”
The brumation chamber will be used for Wyoming Toads as well as other endangered species housed at the Museum & Aquarium. APC’s support of the institution’s conservation program will improve propagation efforts for the Wyoming Toad and several other endangered species.