Have you recently been for a walk around the Four Lakes trail in Squamish, B.C.? Have you noticed the “Toad Alley” sign, just before coming to the trail to Edith Lake? This area is a perfect breeding ground for Western Toads. It provides the toads with a perfect wet and forested environment.
Adult Western Toads range in colour from pale green to gray, dark brown and even red. They often have pale coloured bellies and a pale stripe down their backs. These toads have gold-flecked eyes and horizontal oval pupils. The males are generally smaller than the females. Western Toad eggs look like small black pearls. The tadpoles hatch from the eggs and are black or dark gray in colour. The tadpoles metamorphose into toadlets that look like miniature adult toads (they are actually kind of cute!). Their diet consists of a variety of insects and invertebrates.
Western Toads are protected under the B.C. Wildlife Act. It is important to continue researching these toads to identify their breeding sites and assess habitat requirements to protect the species. There are programs set in place to help track the Western Toad population.
For more information, please visit the B.C. Frogwatch Program website. In the meantime, take a little walk around the Four Lakes trail and be on the lookout for toads!