Two boreal toads, one large and one small, held in someone's hands

Photo credit: Utah DWR

The Amazing Trace: the epic adventures of Utah’s elusive boreal toads

Posted May 16, 2023

“Boreal toads are a high-elevation amphibian found across the western United States and Canada. Although they are widespread throughout this far-flung region, both the number and distribution of toads have declined in recent decades. …

“In an effort to reverse steadily dwindling numbers, we collected portions of boreal toad egg strands to raise a small population in captivity beginning in 2008. But we couldn’t do it alone. Our partners in this effort include Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Denver Zoo, and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Each of these institutions maintains a portion of our captive assurance colony, and they are breeding boreal toads to release young hoppers back into the wild. …

“In 2022, over 1,900 baby toads were released on the Paunsaugunt Plateau, and this year is the first year that we’ve documented captive-bred toads surviving the winter and being found again the next season!”