Hotspot: California on the Edge
Yosemite Toad
Yosemite Toad
Bufo canorus

Yosemite toads are found only in wet mountain meadows at high elevations in a small area of the Sierra Nevada. Even though they spend most of their time on land, they are never far from a permanent body of water.

Yosemite toads are only active during the day. At night these grassland amphibians burrow into the soil, crawl beneath rocks and fallen logs or seek shelter in abandoned rodent holes. They go into hibernation in late fall and come out of their deep sleep in April to July depending on the temperature.

Their mottled coloration makes it hard for predators to spot. Their main defense against predation are their paratoid glands on the side of the neck. They secrete a white liquid that causes nausea, inflammation, or irregular heat beat in prospective predators. The poison can be irritating to humans if it gets into the mouth or eyes.

This animal is gone from half of its historic range and warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.  Federal budget constraints, however, keep it from being officially listed and protected.

Support legislation that funds projects like the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project. More research is needed. Biodiversity is being lost before it can be fully studied and protected.
Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project:


Above: Yosemite Toad

Yosemite Toad


What You Can Do

Center for Biological Diversity: Yosemite Toad