Rhode Island has created breeding wetlands to support the endangered Eastern spadefoot toad.
The Westerly Sun reports that the state Department of Environmental Management, the University of Rhode Island and several conservancy organizations have teamed up for “Operation Spadefoot RI” in Richmond.
The project aims to build new breeding grounds in areas where the toads are already known to be.
Eastern spadefoot toad populations have declined dramatically in the state in recent decades.
The toads require specialized wetlands that are vulnerable to disturbance, and much of their habitat has been lost or degraded because of human development.
The new wetlands are located on land protected jointly by the Richmond Rural Preservation Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy.