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Amphibian DeclinesThe Conservation Status of United States Species$
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Michael Lannoo

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235922

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235922.001.0001

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Factors Limiting the Recovery of Boreal Toads (Bufo b. boreas)

Factors Limiting the Recovery of Boreal Toads (Bufo b. boreas)

(p.222) Thirty-One Factors Limiting the Recovery of Boreal Toads (Bufo b. boreas)
Amphibian Declines

Cynthia Carey

Paul Stephen Corn

Mark S. Jones

Lauren J. Livo

Erin Muths

Charles W. Carey

University of California Press

Boreal toads (Bufo b. boreas) are widely distributed over much of the mountainous western United States, but extensive population declines occurred in the Southern Rocky Mountains in the late 1970s through early 1980s. Recovery efforts to protect the few remaining populations began in 1995. Many aspects of the life history of these toads, such as clutch size, size at maturity, and wet egg mass, mirror those of low altitude, temperate Bufo. However, environmental factors in the montane environment of these toads, such as short growing seasons and cold nighttime summer temperatures, force changes in other life history characteristics that restrict the ability of boreal toads to recover their original geographic distribution or population sizes. Breeding starts one to three months later than in lowland Bufo in temperate climates, and boreal toads are forced into hibernation one to three months sooner than lowland counterparts. Population recruitment is limited by many factors, including the mortality of larvae that fail to complete metamorphosis before onset of freezing temperatures in fall.

Keywords:   Southern Rocky Mountains, boreal toads, Bufo b. boreas, population declines, life history, recovery, metamorphosis, breeding, environmental factors, population recruitment

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