Construction of our new insect facility was completed and fire suppression systems installed. This new 1,600 square feet insectarium has two climate-controlled rooms that can be maintained at different temperatures, allowing a diversity of food items with varying sizes and nutritional properties to meet the needs of our diverse amphibian collection. A huge thanks to the STRI Office of Facilities and Engineering who oversaw this project and to the many individual donors, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Zoo New England, the Houston Zoo, the Holtzman Foundation, the Shared Earth Foundation for enabling us to complete it.
Under the leadership of Nancy Fairchild and Jennifer Warren, our insect production capacity is now one of the incredible success stories of our project. There are no local sources of captive-reared insects, so we are 100% reliant on our own production and have redundant capacity to accommodate any unexpected changes in the populations of the various springtails, fruitflies, crickets, pantry moths, soldier flies, cockroaches and earthworms that we produce. This team has also conducted original research to develop gutloading propocols for springtails and demonstrated improved outcomes of juvenile frogs reared on this nutritionally supplemented prey, compared to their normal yeast-based diets.