It’s not his fault that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Jabba the Hutt.
That’s no reason to think unkindly towards Mr (or Mrs) Western Toad.
When I read about these critters who co-inhabit this valley, I feel such privilege that we get to share our environs with them.
The Pemberton Wildlife Association recently shared (on their fantastically engaging Facebook page – be sure to follow along), that this handsome (okay, I’m reaching) guy was seen in the wetland on the Urdal-Fraser Connector trail.
There are lots of adult toads that have just finished mating and are heading back into the hills away from the water while their eggs slowly turn into tadpoles, then toadlets. Reports are coming in of toads crossing the road at the usual spots, including the upper Pemberton Meadows Road. If you are driving up there (and you shouldn’t be unless you live there because we are all sticking close to home ), consider slowing down a little and keeping your eyes peeled for toads and other critters that love the warm pavement.
Fun fact: a Western toad in captivity lived to be 36 years old.
More facts can be found here: http://www.sccp.ca/species-habitat/western-toad:
This species is often found in and around shallow ponds, lake margins, slow-flowing streams, marshes, bogs or fens, with adequate riparian communities. Adults utilize a wide variety of habitats, including wet and dry forest types, fields and meadows, clearcuts and aquatic sites. Roads, dikes and ditches are utilized as movement corridors, and they tend to avoid open water outside of the breeding season. This species is capable of significant overland movement between breeding ponds, upland summer ranges, and overwintering areas. Adults have been found 1 to 2 km away from breeding sites during the spring and summer. Distances of 5 km between breeding sites have been identified in some populations, with toads moving as much as 7.2 km. Open water, often vernal pools are used for breeding. All members of a local population tend to lay their eggs in the same location, which is used repeatedly from year to year. Toadlets disperse to terrestrial habitat en mass, forming large, post-metamorphic aggregations. Hibernacula can be communal, but are often individual dens dug in streambanks, under downed wood, or using burrows of other animals (e.g. rodents and moles).
Western Toad juveniles and adults are opportunistic predators exploiting a range of invertebrates including annelids (worms), terrestrial and aquatic insects and spiders. Small crayfish and mollusks may also be consumed. Tadpoles are herbivores, feeding on aquatic plants, detritus and algae.