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Amphibian DeclinesThe Conservation Status of United States Species$
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Michael Lannoo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235922

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 June 2022

Houston Toads and Texas Politics

Houston Toads and Texas Politics

(p.150) Twenty-Three Houston Toads and Texas Politics
Amphibian Declines

Lauren E. Brown

Ann Mesrobian

University of California Press

A number of species of amphibians have long been recognized as sliding toward extinction. For example, Houston toads (Bufo houstonensis) were first thought to be nearing extinction forty years ago, in 1962. There is evidence that humans began to effect their decline over a half century ago (in the late 1940s), and research began on the trend toward extinction in 1965. These events occurred long before the recent media hype about amphibian population declines. This chapter reviews the relevant biology of Houston toads and discusses some of the major political interactions concerning the species. It seems almost axiomatic that endangered species become involved in political entanglements, and Houston toads are no exception. Political adversaries of Houston toads have included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, politicians in Texas and Washington, real estate developers and other moneyed interests, and human population growth. This chapter presents accounts of the major battles in which Houston toads played a central role.

Keywords:   Houston toads, Bufo houstonensis, amphibians, population declines, Texas, politics, extinction, biology, endangered species, human population growth

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