Common name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific name: (Anaxyrus fowleri)
Classification name: Toad
Description: Fowler’s Toad is a large yellow, green or brown toad with a light stripe down the middle of the back and large dark blotches. It has elongate parotid glands which contact its prominent cranial crests. Adults can reach up to 6 cm.
Call: The call of the Fowler’s Toad sounds like a crying baby or a nasal “waaa”, lasting two to five seconds.
Confusing Species: The American Toad overlaps the Canadian distribution of the Fowler’s Toad. The parotid glands of the American Toad do not contact its cranial crests. These species occasionally hybridize.
Distributions: In Canada, Fowler’s Toad is limited to a small number of locations along the north shore of Lake Erie. It is also found in the eastern United States.
Habitat: Fowler’s Toad is found in sandy shoreline and peninsula habitat where it breeds in backwater marshes.
Reproduction: Calling may begin in late April but breeding usually occurs in May when evening temperatures are above 14°C. The breeding season may be interrupted by cool weather resulting in groups of tadpoles born, and completing metamorphosis at different times during the summer. Over 6000 eggs may be laid by each female. At cool temperatures, tadpole development is a bit slower than that of the American Toad.
Natural History: Fowler’s Toads are preyed upon by garter snakes, water snakes and raccoons. Maturity may be reached as young as one year but normally takes two years. Individuals up to four years old have been found in the wild.
Conservation Concerns: Fowler’s Toads rely on early successional shoreline habitats which are both created and destroyed by severe storms. As a result their populations fluctuate substantially, but there is no evidence for an overall declining trend. The species is considered vulnerable in Canada by COSEWIC.