SPECIES ID / Amphibians

Western Toad


Anaxyrus boreas

Identification Tips:

• Rough, dry, warty skin with colour varying fron yellowish to tan, gray, or greenish on top
• Adults have white or yellowish central stripe extending the length of back
• Oval glands protrude behind each eye
• Females large (to 12 cm excluding legs)

• Dry warty skin
• Black, brown, greenish, or reddish without stripe in middle of back

• Small and black or dark brown
• Eyes about midway between mid-line and outside edges of head
• Congregated often moving in schools

Egg Masses
• In single or intertwined long strings of jelly at or near water surface

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Blue ListSpecial ConcernSpecial ConcernG4, S4

Life History:

• Sexually mature at 2-6 years of age
• Females may only reproduce once in their lives
• Feed on a variety of invertebrates
• Retreat to aquatic habitats during periods of dry weather
• May migrate several kilometres over the course of a year, often along stream corridors
• Tadpoles feed on suspended particles of plant material or bottom detritus
• Metamorphose into toadlets in mid-summer, within 3 months of hatching


• Use a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats
• Breed in lakes, temporary or permanent pools, wetlands of all kinds, roadside ditches etc.
• Found in all forest types, old fields croplands, from sea level to above 3000 m elevation


British Columbia
• Throughout the province including Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii

• Along Pacific Coast from southern Alaska to Baja California
• Inland to central Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and northern New Mexico
• Absent from most desert areas in the southwest.


• Western toads are extremely vulnerable to roadkill as they migrate to and from breeding ponds

Primary Information Sources:
 Efauna BC: http://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/efauna/
 BC Conservation Data Centre: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/

Western Toad