Fort Worth Zoo
Fort Worth Zoo is located on 64 acres in Fort Worth, Texas and currently houses over 540 species. Fort Worth Zoo is ranked the number 4 zoo in the country. The zoo is dedicated to conservation and in 2015, they spent $9.8 million dollars on education, conservation and animal care.
The mission of the Fort Worth Zoo is to strengthen the bond between humans and the environment by promoting responsible stewardship of wildlife and ensuring diverse, high-quality educational and entertaining family experiences through effective and efficient management of its resources.
Fort Worth, Texas
Texas horned lizard conservation breeding
The Texas Legislature has been an ally of this lizard, which ranges throughout the state and southward into Mexico. Lawmakers mandated protection of the species in 1967, citing population depletion. In 1992, they named it the state reptile. Today the lizard is still threatened in Texas, where its eggs and young are preyed upon by non-native fire ants, it is collected illegally for the pet trade, and is also hurt by insecticide use. It’s one of three horned lizard species in the state.
Through a partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Christian University and a private landowner, the Fort Worth Zoo located the first reintroduction site that fits the environmental and habitat models needed for Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) survival. Horned lizards hatched at the Zoo have been released in the site at various ages and tracked to determine the most effective reintroduction methods. Although translocation projects have been attempted, there has never been a successful ongoing horned lizard reintroduction program. Staff continued to track horned lizards with transmitters in recent years. Horned lizards will continue to be released at various ages and will be fitted with different sized transmitters to determine the best reintroduction methods. The Fort Worth Zoo is one of the only zoos in the country to successfully breed the Texas horned lizard. Since 2005, the Zoo has facilitated more than 600 hatchings.