Western Toad

Adult western toad

The western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) is yellow listed (not at risk) in British Columbia. Males lack vocal sacs but may produce repeated chirping sounds if grasped by hand (females usually are silent or emit few chirps).


Biodiversity Interactive Map - Western Toad


  • The range extends along the Pacific Coast from southern Alaska to Baja California, and eastward through the Rocky Mountains to west-central Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and (formerly) northern New Mexico.
  • Throughout B.C., including Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands
  • Columbia Basin: throughout


  • Streams, rivers, big lakes, small lakes, upland, wetland, riparian.
  • Western toads occur in a wide variety of habitats ranging from desert springs to mountain wetlands.
  • They spend most of their life in terrestrial habitats but venture to aquatic sites and congregate during the breeding season.


  • Toads will return to traditional breeding sites year after year
  • Breeding occurs in shallow water; period varies?January at low elevations and late spring or summer in the mountains
  • Females deposit up to 12,000 eggs in the form of a long egg string which can be several metres long
  • Tadpoles form schools that may consist of millions of individuals which metamorphose in 6 to 10 weeks
  • Toadlets emerge from natal ponds in mid to late summer and head for terrestrial habitat in large aggregations during which time they are particularly susceptible to predation and road mortality

Listing and Date

Listing Date
B.C. List not at risk

Threats to Species

  • The practice of stocking lakes with fish where they would not naturally occur.
  • Habitat loss and degradation
  • Road traffic, disease, pesticides, and contaminants
  • Predation or competition with introduced species
  • Global warming and increased UV-B

Select Reports

For more information on this species, visit The Species at Risk Public Registry and/or The BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer where your should enter ?western toad" in the species Name field.



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Long-toed Salamander
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Western Toad

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