July 31, 2021

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We know our pets

Important breeding of striped newt below way at Jacksonville Zoo

They are very small and, as salamanders go, lovable.

But by 2012 striped newts had almost disappeared from their historic habitat in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida’s Panhandle. So that exact same calendar year the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens began helping replenish the inventory.

In collaboration with the Crawfordville-based Coastal Plains Institute, the zoo has bred about 2,099 newts that have been returned to their indigenous habitat, the most up-to-date a team of 53 hatchlings released June 23.

“Any challenge exactly where we can launch animals back again to the wild is thrilling and we are glad to carry on this do the job with the striped newts this 12 months,” said Cayle Pearson, the zoo’s assistant curator of herps, birds and others. “The initiatives of Coastal Plains Institute and the associates associated is significant to the conservation of this imperiled species. We look ahead to just one day obtaining these animals again to a self-sustaining populace.”