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Fowler's Toad

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Features: Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is a medium-sized toad which lives on sandy beaches and breeds in marshy shallows of lakes or permanent ponds. In Ontario, individuals are gray with a few dark blotches; elsewhere, the toads are brown.

Status: Endangered Provincially and Nationally

Range: Fowler's Toad is widespread in eastern North America, ranging from the Gulf Coast north to the Great Lakes. In Ontario, it lives along the northern shore of Lake Erie where biologists estimate there are about 1,200 individuals.

Threats: Fowler's Toad reaches the northern limits of its range in southern Ontario and, consequently, its numbers here are low. Historically, it was reported on sandy beaches along the whole of northern Lake Erie. Its numbers fluctuate naturally, but the consensus is that it has declined in Ontario and disappeared from some sites. Current threats to the Ontario population are beach erosion from winter storms, habitat alteration by humans, and pollution caused by the presence of herbicides and insecticides in runoff from agricultural lands. Fowler's Toads do occasionally interbreed with American Toads (Bufo americanus), but this is not considered a threat to the population.

Protection: Under Ontario's Endangered Species Act 2007, the Fowler's Toad is protected from any actions (i.e. killing, harrassing, trading, collecting, etc.) that may cause further harm to this species. Fowler's Toad occurs in protected areas such as Point Pelee National Park and in provincial parks at Long Point, Turkey Point and Rondeau. It is also protected under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

Text Sources: Green 1986; Cook 1984

Last Modified Date: September 2011

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