Mississippi State University Works To Increase Population Of Boreal Toads

The boreal toad (Bufo boreas), a candidate for the endangered species list, and in decline due to such factors as habitat destruction and the Chytrid fungal disease that has devastated amphibian populations worldwide, has friends at Mississippi State University who are working to create a captive breeding program with the Memphis Zoo to help bolster the amphibian's wild populations. The toad, native to the Colorado Rockies has been in decline for several years and was placed on the candidate list for Endangered Species Protection in April 2012.

boreal toad

Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence

Nat Calatayud, a post-doctoral fellow shown here holding Diane, is researching how to get the endangered Boreal toad to breed in captivity.


Under supervision of Scott Willard, head of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, entomology and plant pathology at MSU and Andy Kouba of the Memphis Zoo, post-doctoral fellow Nat Calatayud will lead the reproduction efforts. Currently Calatayud is working on a reproduction protocol and is trying to get the toads to reproduce without hibernating. In the wild, hibernating is a trigger that leads to reproduction, so the scientists are attempting to determine what hormones they can give the toads so they will reproduce without having to hibernate.

The boreal toad is in decline due to such factors as habitat destruction and the Chytrid fungal disease that has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. It grows to about 4 inches in length. They are known to burrow into soil and can be active year round in lower elevations. Several distinct pockets of the amphibian can be found in the western United States and as far north as southern Alaska.



Related Articles

Male Orange-eyed Treefrogs Trill To Other Males During Mating Season

Unlike most other frogs that call out to females, Litoria chloris calls out males.

When It Comes To Love Songs, Female Gray Tree Frogs Are Pretty Picky

Male Hyla versicolor's song attracts females with the same number of chromosomes
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What other animals do you keep?


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit ModuleShow Tags