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.
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Wyoming toad at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery. Photo Credit: Bridget Fahey / USFWS
Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri)
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 relic 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.
Adult snout-vent length averages about 2.2 inches. Females grow slightly larger than males. The dorsal surface of the body has rounded warts intermediate in size between those of the Great Plains toad (Bufo cognatus) and the Boreal toad (Bufo boreas). The cranial crests fuse medially to form an elongated boss, a ridge with a median groove, or paired ridges. The boss is often cornified. Postorbital ridges are indistinct or absent. The tympanum is round, smaller than the eye. Cutting tubercles on the hind foot are well developed. Background color is dark brown, gray, or greenish with small dark blotches and a rather indistinct median line. Some individuals have well defined light lateral stripes. The belly is spotted; males have a dark throat. Photographic analysis has shown that individual toads can be identified by the variation in their skin color and wart patterns.
This toad can be distinguished by other toad species present in Wyoming by the small adult size and by the fused cranial crests.
ON February 7, 2014, the Service announced the availability of a draft revised recovery plan for the Wyoming toad. The Service solicits review and comments from the public on the draft revised plan through April 10, 2014.