Toad Tuesday

Yosemite Toad (Anaxyrus canorus)

yosemite toad
photo by William Flaxington
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Yosemite Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus canorus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: United States – California
Size: 3.3 inches (84 mm)

The Yosemite Toad lives in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range at elevations between 8,500 – 10,000 feet. These toads are a diurnal species, active during the day compared to most toads, that are active at nocturnal. They live long for a toad species, capable of living 15 years. The trade-off is that toads take a while to reach sexual maturity, over 3 years. Breeding season is from May to August. Typical breeding sites are shallow pools and small, slow moving streams. The males travel to these ponds once the breeding season start. Then, they will start to call to attract the female. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The female is capable of laying between 15000 to 2000 eggs. These females do not mate every year, another trade-off from their long lives. Neither of the parents provide any care for their offspring. The males and female toads look very different compared to each other.

The Yosemite Toad is listed as a federally threatened species by the United States government. It is most likely going to be added to the endangered species list. There are a lot of reasons for the decline in the toad’s population numbers. Habitat degradation by cattle grazing is one of the main reasons. Other reasons include the introduction of non-native game fish, droughts increased by climate change, and possibly climate change. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) designated 1.8 million acres of land as a protected area for the Yosemite Toad and other threatened species.

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