Boreal toad

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[Photograph]: Boreal toad
U.S. Geological Survey photo

(Bufo boreas)

Habitat and Biology:
Boreal toads live at all elevations and use a variety of habitats in North Idaho. They seek out warm water such as ponds, river oxbows and slow moving steams to lay a long string of eggs. Tadpoles develop fastest in warm water. Boreal toads eat a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates, especially beetles, ants and bees. They usually overwinter in burrows which were dug by squirrels or other rodents.

Western toad populations have crashed in many western states.Many surveys have not found toads where they used to occur. Motorized vehicles can be a major source of toad mortality. This is particularly a problem when toads cross roads moving between the seasonal habitats - breeding ponds, foraging areas and winter hibernacula. Extensive use of heavy equipment can collapse the shallow burrows which toads need for wintering.

Interesting Facts:

  • Toads can navigate by the stars and their sense of smell to move 2.5 miles (4 km) from a pond or other water body.
  • Toad tadpoles are vegetarian but adults are carnivorous.

Learn more about the boreal toad:

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