• Saguaro Blooms Upclose

    Saguaro

    National Park Arizona

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Rincon Mountain District Backcountry Closures Due to Wildland Fire Activity

    Due to fire activity and for the safety of hikers and campers, some trail and campground closures have been enacted. All off-trail areas within Saguaro National Park east of Douglas Spring Trail and Manning Camp Trails are also closed. More »

Amphibians

SAGU

The Sonoran Desert Toad is also known as the Colorado River Toad.

Saguaro National Park

Throughout their life cycle, amphibians live on both land and water. Young are usually born in water and spend the early part of their life cycle there. As they grow, their bodies change through a process called metamorphosis. Gills necessary for breathing in water transform into air-breathing lungs, and young amphibians lose their aquatic tail in favor of strong legs for swimming and jumping. Now these juveniles are ready to live on the land!

The Sonoran Desert is dry and very hot – not a place where one might expect wet-skinned amphibians! Torrents of summer monsoon rain summon toads from their underground burrows where they spend most of the year. On July nights, hundreds of toads can be found breeding in temporary pools. Saguaro National Park amphibians include Couch's spadefoot, leopard frogs, and the canyon treefrogs which live year-round in small water sources such as rock pools and springs.

 

Did You Know?

The flower of a Staghorn Cholla

Many of the plants of the Sonoran Desert are not only edible, they are great sources of nutrition, including the buds of the staghorn cholla which is a great source of calcium and magnesium.