AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new batch of baby horned lizards raised in north and east Texas zoos were released to the wild Friday as part of ongoing efforts to restore the Texas species.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department alongside the Fort Worth, Dallas and Caldwell zoos released the babies “in an ongoing effort to restore this iconic Texas species to its native range,” the TPWD and Fort Worth Zoo said in a joint Facebook post.
TPWD officials said in the post the species has been in a population decline for the past 50 to 60 years.
TPWD and Fort Worth Zoo officials added in an Instagram post the two entities are tracking the species’ progress in their release zones, noting they’ve discovered offspring from one of the horned lizards released two years ago.
The Texas horned lizard is currently designated as a “threatened species in Texas,” according to TPWD information on the species. The horned lizard is marked by its characteristic head with multiple horns, brownish color and “two rows of fringed scales along each side of the body,” per TPWD.