• An aerial view of Old Faithful erupting taken from Observation Point with the Old Faithful Inn to the side.

    Yellowstone

    National Park ID,MT,WY

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    Two sections of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road will be closed due to construction after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Travel between some points will involve long detours and significantly longer than normal travel times. More »

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?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.