Research Project: Temporary Roadside Pond Use by Western Toads

    • All Campuses
  • July 23, 2020
This research examines temporary roadside ponds as a breeding habitat for amphibians, including the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas). Findings will inform about the relationships between artificial ponds created via forest practices, weather, and amphibian breeding behaviour.
A green and brown western toad peeking its face up above a log

Project Timeline

2020 - 2025

Funding From

CNC Research Forest Society

Project Summary

The western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) is widely distributed throughout western North America. In habitats altered by forest practices, the degredation of natural habtiat and the creation of artificial (temporary) ponds from both road construction and harvest can either benefit or hinder local populations, providing either suitable habitat facilitating growth and development, or can result in severe, mass mortality events when conditions become unfavourable.  

This project noted both pond characteristics and amphibian use over a 5-year period. Thus far, findings suggest that a majority of roadside ponds studied function as amphibian breeding habitats, especially for western toads (detected in 89% of ponds studied). However, relatively high temperatures in summer result in pond desiccation (drying up) before tadpoles have time to reach maturity. 

Research Team

Vanessa Uschenko – Research Assistant, CNC Research Forest, BSc, RPBio

Other contributors to this research include Melissa Mjolsness, Kerry Anderson, Carter Reed, Marie-Eve Lavoie, Natasha Lebiadowski, Sonja Hadden, Hannah Fraser, and Andrea Erwin (NRFT Faculty). 


Logo for Society for Ecosystem Restoration in Northern British Columbia

Society of Ecosystem Restoration in Northern British Columbia (SERNbc) 

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