The Western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) migration continues in the forests and trails surrounding Cumberland! The Cumberland Forest crew will be running our Tiny Toad Tent again this weekend (August 12 – 14th) at the Sutton Road yellow gate. Volunteers are welcome (easy 2 hour shifts sharing information with the public) so message firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Thanks to Jim Whyte for this awesome shot of a tiny toad on the fiver for scale. Visit the Cumberland Forest web for details about this species of special concern. Western toads are especially sensitive to human activities including habitat loss and fragmentation, trampling, climate change, development, forestry and other changes to the environment. Diseases like amphibian chytrid fungus and predation from invasive species like Bullfrogs also pose threats.
Trail users are asked to watch for signs and check the CCFS & UROC web and social media for updates about the migration so they can plan their route accordingly. Research and data collection, alternate trail routes, toad tunnels, road and trail closures/detours, and drift fencing are all management actions that can help save the toads. Please continue to keep your eyes out for signage indicating impacted trails and visit United Riders of Cumberland for an alternate routes trail map.
*Curious about the difference between toads and frogs? Well, for starters, all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Confused? Don’t worry! There are a few tell-tail characteristics. Toads have dry, rough and warty skin, and are generally more stocky and ‘clumsy footed’ than frogs. Western toads also have a light line along their mid-back (though it may be lacking on the smaller toadlets).