Mount Rainier National Park encompasses 236,381 acres of land in Washington State and includes a wide range of ecosystems. There are approximately 385 lakes and more than 400 streams in the park, and these aquatic ecosystems provide crucial habitats to many amphibian species. Most amphibians spend a portion of their lives in aquatic habitats, and they can be greatly impacted by changing environmental conditions. Therefore, monitoring amphibian species abundance can indicate water quality and overall ecosystem health.
Fourteen species of amphibians are known to occur in the park including nine species of salamanders and five species of frogs/toads. One species of particular interest is the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas), currently considered a candidate species for listing by Washington State. The Southern Rocky Mountain population known as the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) is under review for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. At Mount Rainier National Park the western toad is considered one of the least common amphibians in the park.