For the first time in ten years our Syrian spadefoot toads have laid eggs, and some of the eggs have already hatched.

Our current breeding colony was established in 2013, as part of an attempt to save the toad population that inhabited the big winter pond in the Checkpost area in Haifa, before it was drained in order to build a shopping center.  As part of the rescue operation tadpoles were collected and brought to the Zoological Garden, and we are happy to report that their survival rate – from tadpoles to four-year-old toads today – is about 80%.

The Syrian spadefoot toad, once called the cat-eyed toad because of its vertical pupils, is an endangered species locally, like all other amphibian species in Israel. Despite its Hebrew name – the common spadefoot toad – it is not common at all in Israel. The main threat to its existence here comes from loss of suitable habitats.  

Threads of eggs of Syrian spadefoot toads

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