“That is like the last thing I expected to see,” Kevin Smith, Spur Cross Ranch’s sole park ranger, said. He estimates, from the footage, that the thieves grabbed at least a dozen toads. Though the recordings — and the story’s peculiar nature —made local and national news, briefly causing a stir, the culprits were never caught. What happened to the creatures isn’t hard to guess, however: In recent years, psychedelic enthusiasts have been rounding up Sonoran Desert toads in order to obtain their secretions, which contain a powerful hallucinogenic substance called 5-MeO-DMT.
It’s during this window of time that it is vulnerable to being snatched from its habitat. But determining the scope of the poaching is difficult. The species is listed as threatened in New Mexico — a 2006 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report cites myriad reasons for this, including overcollection — while in California it is believed to be extinct. #psychedelics#endangeredspecieshttps://www.hcn.org/issues/53.7/south-wildlife-a-hallucinogenic-toad-in-peril