COLORADO SPRINGS — Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s (CMZoo) tiny toadlets had their very first photo shoot and it wasn’t to show off their best angles! It was to help identify warts on each toadlet.

All Wyoming toads’ wart patterns are unique said CMZoo in a social media post. CMZoo stated that even when the toads are small, the zoo’s conservationists are able to identify each toad by its wart patterns.

Conservationists can track trends in each toad’s behavior by knowing their individual wart patterns. According to CMZoo, their staff will be able to tell which of their ten toadlets is a natural hunter, which is a strong swimmer, and more.

The Wyoming toad is one of the most endangered amphibians in the world, according to CMZoo. The Wyoming toad was once abundant in Wyoming’s wetlands. Increasing pollution from pesticide runoff, habitat destruction, fungal disease and acid rain have had disastrous consequences for this toad species.

In 1994, Wyoming toads were extinct in the wild, and only one captive population remained. That population became the foundation for a captive breeding program in nine zoological and governmental facilities that produced tadpoles and toadlets for reintroduction into the wild.

Since CMZoo began its Wyoming Toad breeding program in 1992, they have released over 41,629 tadpoles, 293 metamorphs and 1,160 adults back to their native habitats in the Western United States.