The Boreal Toad is native to the high-elevation wetlands of Utah. However, over the last 20 years, the Boreal toad population in our state has decreased significantly. Loss of habitat (due to human development) and chytrid fungus (which affects amphibians globally) are the two primary factors that have contributed to population decline.
Center for Boreal Toad Conservation
In 2015, we opened a Boreal Toad Conservation Center on Zoo grounds. The conservation center houses boreal toads that were collected as eggs from the Paunsaugunt Plateau. We chose to work with Paunsaugunt toads specifically because of the population’s unique and evolved genetic makeup.
This project would not be possible without help from our partners at the Wahweap Warm Water Fish Hatchery, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and the Denver Zoo. Together, we house nearly 200 boreal toads. UHZ and partners will continue to protect and breed these toads, one day reintroducing their offspring to the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Eventually, we hope to re-establish a self-sustaining population that will ensure the survival of their rare genetic line.
Outreach and Education
The UHZ has a full-time staff who travels statewide each year to visit 2nd grade classrooms across Utah. Our team reaches between 10,000 and 14,000 children annually, teaching them about Utah habitats and the animals that rely on them. Boreal toads often serve as animal ambassadors on these trips, traveling with our teams about 50% of the time.
How Can I Help?
Boreal Toad Monitoring
The Boreal Toad is often found in remote areas that are tricky to traverse. For this reason, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Forest Services need our help to successfully monitor the species. UHZ has a full-time, dedicated staff member who leads Boreal Toad surveys and collects data as part of the monitoring program. Find out how you can join our team below!