• A bull elk bugles in Yellowstone National Park

    Yellowstone

    National Park ID,MT,WY

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Boreal toad

a boreal toad peers out from submerged logs.
Boreal toad
NPS/D. Renkin
 
Scientific name: Bufo boreas boreas

Identification

  • Yellowstone's only toad.
  • Adults range up to about 4 inches; juveniles just metamorphosed from tadpoles are only one inch long.
  • Stocky body and blunt nose.
  • Brown, gray, or olive green with irregular black spots, lots of "warts", and usually a white or cream colored stripe down the back.
  • Tadpoles are usually black and often congregate in large groups.
Habitat

  • Once common throughout the park, they now appear to be much rarer than spotted frogs and chorus frogs; scientists fear this species has experienced a decline in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  • Adults can range far from wetlands because of their ability to soak up water from tiny puddles or moist areas.
  • They lay eggs in shallow, sun-warmed water, such as ponds, lake edges, slow streams, and river backwaters.
Behavior

  • Tadpoles eat aquatic plants; adults eat insects, especially ants and beetles, worms, and other small invertebrates.
  • Sometimes active at night.
  • Defends itself against predators by secreting an irritating fluid from numerous glands on its back and behind its eyes.
  • Eaten by snakes, mammals, ravens, and large wading birds.

Did You Know?

Upper Geyser Basin Hydrothermal Features on a Winter Day.

Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.