Detroit Zoo Makes an Impact on Wyoming Toad Comeback

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoological Society’s breeding program for the Wyoming toad has produced a record 3,945 tadpoles for release into the wild in its efforts to preserve the federally endangered amphibian.

“This is the largest number of tadpoles we have ever sent back to Wyoming,” said Marcy Sieggreen, Curator of Amphibians at the Detroit Zoo. The majority of the tadpoles were released into the Laramie Basin, a protected Wyoming wetland, while 16 were reserved for future breeding at other facilities.

“The tadpoles are returned to Wyoming before the middle of July so they have plenty of time to grow and metamorphose in the wetlands where they’ll live. It takes them approximately four to five weeks to change into toadlets,” said Sieggreen.

The Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) is a dark brown, gray or greenish amphibian with small, dark blotches. The average length is 2.2 inches, with the females slightly larger than the males.

Once abundant in the wetlands and irrigated meadows of Wyoming’s southeastern plains, the Wyoming toad was listed as extinct in the wild in 1994, meaning populations are no longer producing offspring that survive to adulthood in the wild.

The cause of the declines are not well understood, but it is likely that more than one factor contributed to the situation in the past, with habitat loss and infectious diseases suspected as major drivers.

In 2007, the Detroit Zoological Society’s collaborative breeding program for the Wyoming toad was No. 1 on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums list of the Top 10 wildlife conservation success stories. The breeding partnership has successfully released more than 6,000 tadpoles, toadlets and toads in Wyoming since the program’s inception in 1995.


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Shorpy Saturday – Stag Swim: 1903

By Jeffrey Buck

The summer is drawing to a close. Enjoy a timeless photo of youth enjoying the waters at Belle Isle.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Stag Swim: 1903“:

Stag Swim - 1903


Detroit circa 1903. “Swimming pool, Belle Isle Park, evidently.” No girls allowed. 8×10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.

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Tri-county Seniors Invited to Free Day at the Zoo September 3


ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Senior citizens living in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are invited to enjoy a day at the Detroit Zoo on Senior Day, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seniors 62 and older and a caregiver will receive free admission, parking and rides on the Tauber Family Railroad.

Senior Day will also feature live music, tram tours, bingo, a senior resource area and zookeeper talks highlighting some of the Zoo’s senior animal residents.

In addition, Blue Care Network of Michigan and the SilverSneakers Fitness program are pairing up to offer a free group exercise class, exercise demos and functional fitness assessments.

The fall Senior Day is one of two free days for tri-county seniors held annually at the Detroit Zoo in appreciation for voter approval in 2008 of a ballot proposal to fund the Zoo.

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Shorpy Saturday – Tailgate Gourmet: 1960

By Jeffrey Buck

Football is upon us; both college and NFL. Along with football comes the tradition of tailgating before games across the country. Nothing says football like an old station-wagon sitting in The Big House filled with all those tasty foods.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Tailgate Gourmet: 1960“:

Tailgate Gourmet - 1960


Fall 1960. A Kodachrome by our old friend Arthur Rothstein, taken for the Look magazine assignment “Tailgate Gourmets.” “Food for tailgate picnics displayed in the backs of station wagons, including a Ford Country Squire, a Dodge Lancer, and a Pontiac Bonneville Safari parked in a football stadium. Also images of a couple wearing raccoon coats standing next to their Dodge Lancer.”

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Things to do around town this weekend


Michigan Renaissance Festival 2014

By Jeffrey Buck

There are several things to do around town this Labor Day weekend and the Detroit Free Press has once again compiled a nice list of the top 10 events you can’t miss. Check out the list by clicking here. Some of the events on list include ones we shared earlier this week:

And several others: Continue reading

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Constructi​on Begins on Wolf Sanctuary at Detroit Zoo


Detroit Zoo Logo

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Construction has begun on the new Cotton Family wolf habitat at the Detroit Zoo. Located at the southwest corner of the park, the 2-acre sanctuary will feature grassy meadows, trees, a flowing stream and pond, dens and elevated rock outcroppings from which the wolves can survey their surroundings and Zoo visitors.

“Like many others in Michigan, our family is so excited to help save wolves – cousins of man’s best friend – in a protected sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo,” said David Cotton, whose family donated $500,000 toward the development of the wolf habitat. Continue reading

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Two Big Music Festivals This Weekend And More!

Detroit Jazz Fest - Logo

By Jeffrey Buck

Looking for something fun to do this Labor Day Weekend? Look no further, here is a handful of ideas to get you outside and enjoying the long weekend! Leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions for readers looking for some fun.

  1. Detroit Jazz Festival – Several downtown Detroit blocks will be taken over this weekend for the 35th annual Detroit Jazz Festival. Over 50+ acts will perform on several stages over the four day jam session. Music is not the only thing visitors will enjoy with offerings such as educational activities for both children & adults.
    Dates: Friday, Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept. 1. Hours: Fri. 7-10 p.m. | Sat. & Sun. 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. | Mon. Noon to 8:30 p.m.Admission: FREE
  2. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats – Downtown Royal Oak will once again be rocking as Ford Arts, Beats & Eats takes over. Visitors this year have choices to make as more than 150+ artists perform on several stages and many local restaurants dish out some fantastic cuisine. Oh and don’t forget to stroll around and taken in all of the art!
    Dates: Friday, Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept. 1. Hours: Fri. to Sun. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. | Mon. 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission: Fri: Free until 5 p.m., $5 after | Sat. to Mon. $3 until 3 p.m., $5 after
  3. Michigan Renaissance Festival – It’s that time of the year again! You can go as you are or you can dress up in your best Renaissance outfit. Throw tomatoes, watch full-contact jousting or bite into a big juicy turkey leg. There are games, food and music for all ages!
    Dates: Open Weekends & Labor Day, Plus Friday Sept. 26 Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. | Rain or shine Admission: Varies, Adults: $21.95 | Child: $12.95
  4. Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair – The Suburban Collection Showplace plays host to a tradition that’s been absent from the state. Moving north and taking on a different name Michigan agriculture will be the center of attention once again at this weekends Great Lakes State Fair. There will be Michigan made products on display, livestock & agriculture areas, beer gardens and much more.
    Dates: Friday, August, 31 through Monday, September 3. Hours: Varies, Fri. – Sun. 10 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.| Mon. 10:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission:Varies, Adults $6-$25 | Children $5-$20

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