Three zoos across the United States will be getting endangered boreal toads raised by students at New Mexico Highlands University as part of a nationwide effort to preserve the species.
School officials say the Detroit Zoo's National Amphibian Conservation Center, the Denver Zoo in Colorado and the Staten Island Zoo in New York are accepting the live toads.
The amphibians were raised from eggs in a biology lab at the northern New Mexico school.
Highlands biology professor Sarah Corey-Rivas says the toads are essential to mountain ecosystems and provide nourishment to other species. She says losing the toads makes it harder for ecosystems to recover from disturbances such as drought.
Corey-Rivas says the decline in boreal toads and other amphibians in North America is due to the chytrid fungal disease.
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