Western Toad Non-calling population
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus boreas
Taxonomy Group: Amphibians
COSEWIC Range: Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2012
COSEWIC Status: Special Concern
COSEWIC Status Criteria:
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This species has suffered population declines and population extirpations in the southern part of its range in British Columbia, as well as in the USA. The toads are particularly sensitive to emerging skin disease caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus, which has been linked to global amphibian declines. It is relatively intolerant of urban expansion, conversion of habitat for agricultural use, and habitat fragmentation resulting from resource extraction and road networks. Life history characteristics, including infrequent breeding by females, aggregation at communal, traditionally used breeding sites, and migrations to and from breeding sites, make populations vulnerable to habitat degradation and fragmentation. The species remains widespread, but declines are suspected and projected based on known vulnerabilities and threats.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in November 2002. Split into two populations in November 2012. The Non-calling population was designated Special Concern in November 2012.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12
Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.
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More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
9 record(s) found.
COSEWIC Status Reports
The Western Toad is a large toad with small round or oval “warts” on the back, sides and upper portions of the limbs. Large oblong parotoid or poison cheek glands are situated behind the eyes. Colour is typically brown or green but varies from olive green to almost reddish-brown or black; a creamy or white vertebral stripe often extends along the back. The “warts” and parotoid glands are often reddish-brown. There is a grey pelvic patch in the groin area that functions to absorb moisture from the environment.
This species has suffered population declines and population extirpations in the southern part of its range in British Columbia, as well as in the USA. The toads are particularly sensitive to emerging skin disease caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus, which has been linked to global amphibian declines. It is relatively intolerant of urban expansion, conversion of habitat for agricultural use, and habitat fragmentation resulting from resource extraction and road networks. Life history characteristics, including infrequent breeding by females, aggregation at communal, traditionally used breeding sites, and migrations to and from breeding sites, make populations vulnerable to habitat degradation and fragmentation. The species remains widespread, but declines are suspected and projected based on known vulnerabilities and threats.
The Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site meets the requirements for an action plan set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA (s.47)) for species requiring an action plan that occur inside the boundary of the site. This action plan will be updated to more comprehensively include measures to conserve and recover the marine species at risk once the first integrated Land, Sea, People management plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve & Haida Heritage Site (hereafter called Gwaii Haanas) is complete. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in Gwaii Haanas.
Backed by the Insular Mountain Range of Vancouver Island and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (Pacific Rim NPR) protects and presents the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's west coast. Pacific Rim NPR consists of three distinct units, the Long Beach Unit, Broken Group Islands Unit, and West Coast Trail Unit, each offering a range of unique visitor experiences. With significant areas (51,216 ha in total) of old growth, temperate rainforest, coastal dune systems, wetlands and foreshore, and marine habitats, the park demonstrates the interconnectedness between land, sea, and people. These natural wonders are interwoven with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations culture (past and present), and that of European explorers and settlers.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency is the competent minister under SARA for the Western Toad, Calling and Non-calling populations, and has prepared this management plan as per section 65 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and Yukon and Northwest Territories as per section 66(1) of SARA.
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments done under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the status of the species set out in the annexed schedule.
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Species at Risk Act, makes the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”.
COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2012 to September 2013) from November 25 to November 30, 2012 and from April 28 to May 3, 2013. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 73 wildlife species.
The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following:
Special Concern: 19
Data Deficient: 4
Not at Risk: 1
Of the 73 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 50 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.
The status of wildlife species is assessed by an independent panel of expert Canadian scientists, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
149 terrestrial species were assessed as at-risk by COSEWIC between 2009 and 2016 and are eligible for listing under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) to be considered by the Governor-in-Council (GIC) on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment: 86 species would be new additions, 54 currently listed species would be reclassified and 9 species would be updated to reflect changes in their recognized designatable units. A three-year listing plan has been developed to address all 149 terrestrial species and listing decisions for most species are anticipated by the end of 2018.
Making amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA is a two-step process. The first step is for the GIC to propose an amendment through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period. The second step is for the GIC to make a final decision on whether or not to make amendments to Schedule 1 of SARA, taking into consideration comments received during the 30-day public comment period. The amendments are made through an order in council published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Both orders are accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) which presents the implications of listing the species or changing their status.
Publishing this plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency about the Government of Canada’s plan to make listing decisions under the Species at Risk Act.
NOTE: The information presented below is intended to provide openness and transparency with respect to when terrestrial species might be considered for listing under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act. It is intended to assist anyone who may wish to provide comments on such listing considerations. Given any number of factors can affect the timing of a listing decision; the Plan is subject to change. Accordingly, the Plan will be periodically updated.