The Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) was a common sight on areas of the Laramie Plains, Albany County, Wyoming, into the early 1970s but the populations crashed in the middle 1970s. The Wyoming toad was listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service www.fws.gov in January 1984.
This toad is a glacial relict known only from Albany County, Wyoming. It formerly inhabited flood plains, ponds, and small seepage lakes in the shortgrass communities of the Laramie Basin. The diet of this species includes ants, beetles, and a variety of other anthropods. Adults emerge from hibernation in May or June, after daytime maximum temperatures reach 70 degrees F.
Males attract females to breeding sites by their calls. Eggs, in gelatinous strings, are laid from mid-May to early June, and the larvae usually transform by mid-July.
As is the case with other amphibian species, spraying of insecticides to control mosquitoes, changes in agricultural practices,
increased predation, disease, and climatic changes have been suggested as causes of the decline, but nothing definite has been
identified (see http://www.usgs.gov ). Recently, the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been reported
in the captive and wild populations.
On October 6, 2006, the Service published a notice of initiation of a 5-year review.
- Federal Register Notice: October 6, 2006 5-Year Reviews of Three Wildlife species and Eight Plant Species in the Mountain-Prairie Region
- Press Release: October 6, 2008 Service Announces Initiation of 5-year Reviews for 11 Species in Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming
Numerous facilities are currently involved in the captive breeding, refugia, and reintroduction of the Wyoming toad. Included are
- Saratoga National Fish Hatchery, Saratoga, WY
- Toledo Zoo, Toledo, OH
- Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE
- St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO
- Central Park Wildlife Center, New York, NY
- Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak, MI
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, CO
- Sybille Wildlife Research Center, Wheatland, WY
- Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA.