An assessment of the limiting factors for boreal toads in the La Barge Creek watershed
July 2022 - June 2025
- Meg and Bert Raynes Wildlife Fund
- Wyoming Game & Fish Department
Boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) once were widespread and common but have suffered substantial population declines in the Rocky Mountain region. Declines have been attributed to climate change, habitat loss and alteration, and morbidity and mortality from the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).
Mechanisms underlying boreal toad declines in the LaBarge drainage remain enigmatic but may include the introduction of Bd (~2003-2006) and/or habitat alteration associated with a reclamation treatment that removed beaver dams (~2000-2006). Given the on-going and range-wide population declines of boreal toads, understanding of boreal toad population status and drivers of population dynamics in the La Barge watershed is timely.
The project is a collaboration of researchers between the USGS Wyoming Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit and state partners at the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
The improved understanding of multi-scale habitat associations, factors associated with breeding success, movement patterns, disease prevalence and home ranges size that should result from the work will greatly enhance the ability of state and federal agencies to assess threats and develop effective mitigation strategies for boreal toads.