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Toads, Toads and Toadlets!

July 28, 2013

The mud, grass and sand at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park have come alive with thousands of tiny little toads. They were all tadpoles busy avoiding ducks in the shallows of Kootenay Lake last week and this week they have emerged as Western Toads that are no bigger than my thumbnail. The “warts” on toads are glands that exude a milky and bitter liquid that encourages predators to drop the toad immediately. Mom told me that I would get warts if I handled toads. But I didn’t. These little “toadlets” look fully equipped with “warts” but even so, very few will survive to reach the size of the toad I saw last summer.

Toads hibernate under the frost line to make it through winter and either dig their own summer burrow or usurp other burrows, such as rodent tunnels. The adults are mostly nocturnal and stay in their burrows much of the day. Amphibians the world over are suffering major population losses, but the Western Toad population in B.C. is still apparently healthy.

All those thousands of little toads are doing their best to add to that healthy population. Wish them well and watch your feet when walking near lakes and streams!

I have shared photos of the toadlets and of the adult toad I saw last summer.

A tiny Western Toad "toadlet"

A tiny Western Toad “toadlet”

A Western Toad tadpole

A Western Toad tadpole

There are at least 6 toadlets in this photo.

They were everywhere!  There are at least 6 toadlets in this photo.

The "warts" are glands that exude a milky, very bitter liquid.

The “warts” are glands that exude a milky, very bitter liquid.

I saw this Western Toad last year on the trail

I saw this Western Toad last year on the trail

all writing and photos copyright Joanne Siderius 2013.

2 Comments
  1. I wasn’t aware the toads are nocturnal. Great photos!

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