The Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas) (formerly Northwestern toad – Bufo boreas) is a stout, squat 2-5 inch amphibian of the west found from Alaska to northern California. It has shorter front than hind leg. The skin is rough with large warts. Colour is variable from dark brown to reddish brown background with lighter warts.
Adults congegrate in early Spring along margins of wetlands and lakes to spawn. The male calls with a high pitched note. The eggs are laid in long strings in shallow water. Jet-black tadpoles hatch in a few days and gather in large swarms. Growth is rapid and they exit water at 1/2 inch long to migrate to near by woods. Highway crossing prove dangerous and many toadlets are squashed. Ryder Lake road is a well known hazard.
Adult toads wander considerable distance form water and can be found foraging at dusk for insects and other small creeping organisms. At dawn they retire to damp holes and shaded spots. Look for them along the Miami greenway riparian area. Western Toads are a species of conservation concern.
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Species of Conservative Concern are those whose numbers and well-being is in question. Their status is assigned by various agencies including the BC Ministry of Environment, Canada’s Species at Risk Act(SARA) and by the Committee on the status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. (COSEWIC)
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