Wyoming Toad


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  • White-faced ibis foraging. Credit: USFWS.

    Wyoming toad. Credit: Sara Armstrong / USFWS.

  • White-faced ibis foraging. Credit: USFWS.

    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. 

Wyoming toad species profile

Species description »

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.

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Recent actions & links »

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.

On October 6, 2006, the Service published a notice of initiation of a 5-year review.

Numerous facilities are currently involved in the captive breeding, refugia, and reintroduction of the Wyoming toad.  Included are

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: January 06, 2021
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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