Horny Toad LbNA # 25079
|Placed Date||Aug 31 2006|
Everyone loves horny toads, but for many Texans, the fierce-looking yet amiable reptile is only a fond childhood memory. Growing up in Midland, to me they were abundant playthings. Most boys had one in his pocket most of the time. They could be tranquilized by rubbing the belly. I thought it was a myth that they could squirt blood through the eyes, but it’s a fact, even though I never saw one do it. Once common throughout most of the state, the horny toad (or Texas Horned Lizard) has disappeared from many parts of its former range over the past 30 years. I haven’t seen one since I moved from Midland to the Houston area in 1989. His disappearance has been blamed on many factors, including collection for the pet trade, spread of the red imported fire ant, changes in land use, and environmental contaminants. For the most part, however, the decline of the Texas Horned Lizard has remained a mystery with little understanding of the management actions that could be taken to restore it. If you still see them occasionally, you could help determine its current status by joining the “Texas Horned Lizard Watch” sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife. Visit their Texas Nature Trackers website at: www.tpwd.state.tx/nature/tracker/ .
This box is placed on the nature trail at the University of Texas Permian Basin in Odessa. From I-20, take East Loop 338 north to University. Turn left on University and park in the first parking lot on the right.
To the box:
On the north side of the lot is a footbridge that crosses a ditch. Cross over the footbridge and straight ahead you will see a metal trail sign. You might want to turn left on this path to see the first Texas home of President George W H Bush and Barbara Bush. However, to find the letterbox, you need to turn right on the paved path and walk 25 steps. You will see a large rock on your left. Turn and face the rock. On the right side of the rock, on the ground is a crevice. The camo letterbox is in the crevice with rocks on top.