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#6393439 - 08/03/16 02:47 PM Horned toads
N-Rut Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/16/11
Posts: 126
Loc: Living it up
Just curious if anyone knew what wiped them out. I have heard it was due to fire ants, but was not sure.
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#6393450 - 08/03/16 02:53 PM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
Bbear Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 596
Loc: West Texas
I've heard a couple of different things from biologist/TPWD folks and just plain 'folks'.

- Usage of pesticides like round-up
- fire ants (though I've seen one eat them without messing up their nests/mound)
- extended drought
- combination(s) of the above.

I have been seeing more of them this year than in many years before though. Hopefully, the little critters will come back.
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#6393451 - 08/03/16 02:53 PM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
sallysue Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 2556
Loc: Belton Tx
Chemicals that we use and we've taken their habitat away On the impact zone at Ft hood they still have them and quail

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#6393462 - 08/03/16 03:01 PM Re: Horned toads [Re: sallysue]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20293
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: sallysue
Chemicals that we use and we've taken their habitat away On the impact zone at Ft hood they still have them and quail


Agree about the chemicals hurting their population more than anything. Lease I was on in Callahan County had lots of them, very little use of chemicals on that place
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#6394184 - 08/04/16 04:43 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
HWY_MAN Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 25095
Loc: Howard County
I have to dodge hornytoads daily and my oil and water haulers do the same. Anybody coming on this ranch knows to give hornytoads the right of way. The biggest threat to hornytoads is road runners and we're having an explosion of roadrunners this year. I know the Roadrunner is protected but the state really needs to consider how much damage a roadrunner can create. Personally I hate the damn things! They'll eat anything they can swallow and small quail, inch and half hornytoads are no challenge. I put them on the same level as coyotes and feral hog's. On my plunger lift wells the scissor tails always nested behind the controller panel until the RR's figured it out, now I have no nests behind the panels. The state needs to take a serious look at these birds and let go of the emotion and look at hard facts, they are a top notch predator.


Edited by HWY_MAN (08/04/16 04:56 AM)
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#6394186 - 08/04/16 05:07 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
HWY_MAN Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 25095
Loc: Howard County
Hornytoads need ant's! If your taking out ant beds your taking away a food source. Carpenter ant's seem to be their favorites, find a bed of them and you'll find a hornytoad within 15 ft. Fire ant's are a whole different story.
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#6394218 - 08/04/16 06:53 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
topwater13 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 742
Loc: Wise County
^^^They love harvester ants. The big red ants.

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#6394319 - 08/04/16 08:30 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
Dalroo Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/03/16
Posts: 111
Loc: The Heart of Texas
My understanding is that HTs feed on the big red ants. When the fire ants invaded, it forced the red ants out of habitat, so HTs lost part of food source and impacted their numbers. Good to see some making a comeback.

Same with quail - fire ants impacted them greatly, but also starting to see more in my fields, so hoping they continue to thrive.

And yes on roadrunners as well. We have a bumper crop of RRs in central Texas.
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#6394321 - 08/04/16 08:30 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: HWY_MAN]
rex47 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: HWY_MAN
I have to dodge hornytoads daily and my oil and water haulers do the same. Anybody coming on this ranch knows to give hornytoads the right of way. The biggest threat to hornytoads is road runners and we're having an explosion of roadrunners this year. I know the Roadrunner is protected but the state really needs to consider how much damage a roadrunner can create. Personally I hate the damn things! They'll eat anything they can swallow and small quail, inch and half hornytoads are no challenge. I put them on the same level as coyotes and feral hog's. On my plunger lift wells the scissor tails always nested behind the controller panel until the RR's figured it out, now I have no nests behind the panels. The state needs to take a serious look at these birds and let go of the emotion and look at hard facts, they are a top notch predator.





very true, they will wipe out a quail nest in a minute, and any other small criters.

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#6394331 - 08/04/16 08:39 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: rex47]
MoBettaHuntR Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/29/14
Posts: 667
Loc: West is the best...
Originally Posted By: rex47
Originally Posted By: HWY_MAN
I have to dodge hornytoads daily and my oil and water haulers do the same. Anybody coming on this ranch knows to give hornytoads the right of way. The biggest threat to hornytoads is road runners and we're having an explosion of roadrunners this year. I know the Roadrunner is protected but the state really needs to consider how much damage a roadrunner can create. Personally I hate the damn things! They'll eat anything they can swallow and small quail, inch and half hornytoads are no challenge. I put them on the same level as coyotes and feral hog's. On my plunger lift wells the scissor tails always nested behind the controller panel until the RR's figured it out, now I have no nests behind the panels. The state needs to take a serious look at these birds and let go of the emotion and look at hard facts, they are a top notch predator.





very true, they will wipe out a quail nest in a minute, and any other small criters.


Road runners are like miniature velociraptors.

I feel the same way about hawks and owls too. Cool as they are they capitalize on human disruption of habitats of prey species and decimate them. Look on the side of highways, fresh cut hay fields, new land developments etc.

Sorry to get off topic back to horny toads...
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#6394364 - 08/04/16 08:59 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
jetdad Offline
Tracker

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 931
Loc: Grayson county
Some of the older pesticides like DDT significantly hurt the harvester ants. This occurred when I was a kid, back in the 50's. Horned toads were everywhere then, nowhere to be found in the 60's. Fire ants have not helped the harvester ants but nonlethal pesticides (to the harvester ants) have helped boost their population and therefore helped the horned toad. I love the little critters. Very friendly and so cool to look at.

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#6394384 - 08/04/16 09:09 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: MoBettaHuntR]
therancher Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 5348
Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
Went to the big lake ranch last week and saw two ht's. One was being attacked by a road runner. He got rescued.

He had been shooting blood from his eyes and was standing tall and swaying back and forth real slow and menacing. I had never seen that before. Here he is post rescue and the next pic is one that I saw later.
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#6394390 - 08/04/16 09:15 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
MoBettaHuntR Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/29/14
Posts: 667
Loc: West is the best...
Nice pics
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#6394538 - 08/04/16 11:03 AM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
PMK Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 4970
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
a funny little story my dad told ... after he went thru basis training back in WWII, he was stationed around Mineral Wells before being deployed to the European theater, he said there were a bunch of horny toads (and red ant beds) all around the AFB. He and a bunch of other guys would catch them and use an ink pen to write their names on the HT's belly so they could tell them apart ... a number of years later when he returned from Europe, he went back to the Mineral Wells AFB and said there were several older horny toads around that still had people's names written on them. The ink had soaked into their belly skin like a tattoo, probably had for the rest of their life.

we had a bunch around Burnet where I grew up, we would catch them and pet them. They got pretty gentle towards humans.
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#6394736 - 08/04/16 01:38 PM Re: Horned toads [Re: N-Rut]
CRAnderson52 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2292
Loc: Highland Village, Texas
We see about one a year on our place in Coleman!
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