Boreal Toad

The North Slope of the Uinta – Boreal Toad Survey

This citizen-science project will engage local students near the Uinta Mountains in Utah to participate in boreal toad surveying. The students will get outside of the classroom, learning scientific protocol and data collection methods from professional researchers. Additionally, they will learn survival skills and outdoorsmanship, preparing them to safely spend time in the wilderness. It is our hope that thsi project will inspire a love of the outdoors and a passion for science in the participating students.
Amphibians are great indicators of ecosystem health due to their sensitive skin that reacts to pollutants and contanimnatns int eh water.  Students will help research boreal toad on the Northern slope on the Uintas, contributing to the understanding of the health and integrity of this sensitive species and the ecosytem it lives in. Decreasing numbers of the boreal toad in utah as a result of development, climate change, overpopulation, increased pollution and deforestation are cause for concern not only for the condition of the wilderness, but for human population that are also affected by pollution .  
 Students will survey boreal toads in the wetlands of the Uinta mountains, identifying the species of toad and recording field observations at each identification site. They will learn and practice species identification,  note and gain first hand experience working in a wetland ecosystem. 
Where are they found and how do I find them?

  • Boreal toads in Utah are recorded at elevations between 1570 and 3220 m. Habitats include low velocity streams, seeps, marshes, beaver ponds, reservoir margins, and associated woodlands. They have also been known to utilize small mammal burrows for overwintering or to escape the heat of the day. Eggs are laid when water temperatures reach 10-12°C.
  • Walk wetland perimeters looking for adults, juveniles, and tadpoles in the water or on the banks. Occasionally tap the vegetation to induce toad movement. Egg strands are usually in shallow, still water attached to vegetation.
  • Also look under old logs or debris in which they may hind (careful rattlesnakes like similar places)