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It’s About To Get Cramped For Los Coquí, The Beloved Puerto Rican Frogs, Detroit Is Sending Over 5,000 Of Their Endangered Cousins

Credit: USA Today

“The Puerto Rican crested toad has greenish-brown pebbled skin and marbled golden eyes. It grows 3-4 inches long and has the ability to nearly flatten its body completely to fit into tiny crevices.”

Move over Coquí, the Puerto Rican Crested Toad is making a comeback. That’s right, according to this USA Today story, scientists at the the Detroit Zoo have been growing and caring for over 5,6000 tadpoles that will shortly be making their way back to Puerto Rico, where they are endangered. As amphibians, these toads are close biological relatives (like casi primos) of the Coquí, the official animal of Puerto Rico.

These crested toads were bred in captivity because their numbers are in decline, due to environmental threats. Because of how difficult it is to create the exact conditions under which the toads can and will mate, a nationwide program was launched to create these mating labs for them. From getting the right water, to the right barometric pressure and even playing the right mating calls, scientists are taking all necessary steps.

In a press release from the Detroit Zoo, Dr. Ruth Marcec, director of the National Amphibian Conservation Center, commented about the drastic measures taken to preserve these toads:

“Amphibians are in crisis, with nearly half of the world’s known 7,660 species threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, infectious diseases and other factors. Bolstering the population of these amphibians in their natural environment is a triumph for conservation.”

The zoo has been successful in producing over 47,000 of these tadpoles and will send close to 6,000 of them to Puerto Rico, where they’ll hopefully help bring the numbers back up to normal.

Credit: Detroit Zoo

Bringing the toads back will help keep the waters cleaner and keep the ecosystem in balance, even if they do get some side-eye from the beloved Coquí.


[H/T] USA Today / Detroit Zoo

READ: Shocked That Not Everyone In Puerto Rico Looks Like J.Lo, She Created An Account To Open Everyone Else’s Eyes


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In Sparkly Ruffled Dresses, Quinceañeras Are About To Flood The Capitol To Protest A Texas Bill That Affects Thousands Of Latinos

Things That Matter

In Sparkly Ruffled Dresses, Quinceañeras Are About To Flood The Capitol To Protest A Texas Bill That Affects Thousands Of Latinos

DACA recipient Viridiana ‘Viri’ Sanchez, a summer youth organizer for Jolt, an Austin-based nonprofit mobilizing Latinos socially and politically, is taking her activism to the next level by shaping the vision for Quinceañera at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Hosted by Jolt, the July 19th event targets young women in Texas and throughout the country, and encourages them to mobilize and unite against Senate Bill 4, an anti-immigration bill signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott during the most recent legislative session.

mitú met with Sanchez and fellow organizer Maggie Juarez to discuss how Quinceañera at the Capitol came together and how they hope it will help put a stop to SB 4.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Jolt TX.

What is SB4 and how does it impact Latinos?

“(SB 4) lowered the standard of how people should treat us just because of our skin color,” said Juarez, a daughter of immigrants who resides and attends school in Pflugerville, a suburban community north of Austin. She is choreographing the event’s dances.

SB 4 has been compared to SB 1070, Arizona’s “show me your papers” bill which allows police officers to ask people for proof of their immigration status.

According to the Dallas News, SB 4 will punish cities, counties and universities that prohibit local law enforcement officers from asking about a person’s immigration status.

So how did the idea for Quinceañera at the Capitol come about?

CREDIT: CREDIT: Jolt TX.

“When Cristina (Tzintzun) started Jolt she encouraged me to become involved,” Sanchez said. “I told her, ‘You do know I am undocumented’ But then I realized we have to show people we have a voice. We don’t have to be scared of SB 4 or (President) Donald Trump.”

The idea for the event came from one of Jolt’s volunteers who witnessed quinceañeras taking photos at the state Capitol during SB 4 action.

Sanchez’s then set out to find 14 girls willing to join her as quinceañeras at the Capitol and have each one participate take turns reciting 15 reasons why they’re against SB 4.

The girls would then do choreographed dances and interact with lawmakers, all while wearing quinceañera gowns in hot summer weather. Some of the girls participating are undocumented like Santos.

What do organizers hope to gain as an outcome?

CREDIT: CREDIT: Jolt TX.

“We want to show the government that we are connected and not ready to give up,” Sanchez said.

No quinceañera is complete without a valz. These quinceañeras have choreographed dances to ‘Somos Mas Americanos‘ by Los Tigres del Norte and ‘Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)’ from the Hamilton Mixtape.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Jolt TX.

“We wanted songs true to what it means to be Latino in the United States and how we contribute, including to economic instability,” Sanchez said about why these songs were specifically chosen for the valz.

While there won’t be a baile de sorpresa, organizers encourage chambelanes to appear at the event or show solidarity on social media.

The girls invite Latinos across the country to tag themselves with their quince photos with hashtag #15contrasb4 and #bastaSB4 to show their support.


READ: 9 L.A. Poets Giving Latinos A Voice

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