The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long tradition of scientific excellence and always uses the best-available science to inform its work to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitat for the benefit of the American public.
Created in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, today's National Wildlife Refuge System protects habitats and wildlife across the country, from the Alaskan tundra to subtropical wetlands. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge System's 560-plus refuges cover more than 150 million acres and protect nearly 1,400 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
While national wildlife refuges were created to protect wildlife, they are for people too. Refuges are ideal places for people of all ages to explore and connect with the natural world. We invite you to learn more about and visit the national wildlife refuges and wetland management districts in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Mountain-Prairie Region's Office of Ecological Services (ES) works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, ES personnel work with Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to avoid, minimize, and mitigate threats to our Nation's natural resources.
Providing leadership in the conservation of migratory bird habitat through partnerships, grants, and outreach for present and future generations. The Migratory Bird Program is responsible for maintaining healthy migratory bird populations for the benefit of the American people.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region helps conserve, protect, and enhance aquatic resources and provides economically valuable recreational fishing to anglers across the country. The program comprises 12 National Fish Hatcheries.
Law enforcement is essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation. The Office of Law Enforcement contributes to Service efforts to manage ecosystems, save endangered species, conserve migratory birds, preserve wildlife habitat, restore fisheries, combat invasive species, and promote international wildlife conservation.
External Affairs staff in the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides support to the regional office and field stations to communicate and facilitate information about the Service's programs to the public, media, Congress, Tribes, partners, and other stakeholders in the 8-state region.
Boreal Toad female, Lost Trail NWR, Flathead County, MT, June 2003. Credit: P.S. Corn / USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center.
Boreal toad. Credit: Bill Battaglin, USGS Water Resources Division - Denver Federal Center.
Boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas)
Species description: In the southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas), female boreal toads may reach a length 4.3 inches, while males seldom exceed 3.7 inches. Both sexes have warty skin and oval parotoid glands. Although more prominent in females, both sexes often have a distinctive light mid-dorsal stripe. Unlike other species in the same genus, the male boreal toad has no vocal sac and, therefore, has no mating call. In the southern Rocky Mountains adult boreal toads emerge from hibernacula when snowmelt has cleared an opening from their burrow and daily temperatures remain above freezing. Breeding may begin in the lower altitudes in May and in the higher altitudes in July or early August. Females may skip 1 to 3 years between breeding attempts, depending on their physical condition. Females deposit up to 16,500 eggs in 2 strings, which are ordinarily laid in shallow 6 inches water. Egg and tadpole development is temperature dependant; in high, cold locations, development from hatching to metamorphosis can take 75 days.
Location: The southern Rocky Mountain population occurs from south-central Wyoming southward through the mountainous regions of Colorado to extreme north-central New Mexico. The toads inhabit a variety of wet habitats (i.e., marshes, wet meadows, streams, beaver ponds, glacial kettle ponds, and lakes interspersed in subalpine forest) at altitudes primarily between 8,000-11,500 feet.
Threats: A globally occurring disease of amphibians that is commonly known as chydrid fungus is believed to be the major factor in the decline of the southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad.
Recent Actions: October 2017: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that the Eastern Population of boreal toad qualifies as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS), but is not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Eastern Population of the boreal toad is found in Colorado, southeastern Idaho, northern New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Because the Eastern Population is distributed across the majority of its historical range and a large percentage has a moderate or high resiliency to chytrid fungus, the Service found the species has a very low risk of extinction. The Service anticipates the Eastern Population will continue to maintain self-sustaining populations across its range for the next 50 years. Because of these findings, the Service found the Eastern Population of boreal toad is not warranted for listing under the ESA.
On May 25, 2011, the Service received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Native Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, requesting the agency list either the Eastern population or Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) as a threatened or endangered distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (Act). We have completed a 90-day petition finding for the Eastern population and Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad. We have determined that there is substantial information in the petition and in our files that the Eastern population of the boreal toad may qualify as a DPS and that listing under the Act may be warranted. Additionally, we determined that the petition and our files did not contain substantial information that the Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal constitutes a DPS. However, the Southern Rocky Mountain population, which includes New Mexico, Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming, is part of the larger Eastern population. The Eastern population of this amphibian occurs in portions of Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.