Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Rare toad spotted near South Pass

RIVERTON (WNE) — A rare sighting of three western toads near South Pass on June 25 has biologists and game wardens encouraged by the persistence of the species.

Classified officially as a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need,” the western toad is extremely rare in Wyoming. The recent sighting was the first since 2007 and only the second since 1978.

The rare amphibians were observed in the upper Sweetwater River drainage.

After an incidental observation by Wyoming Game and Fish personnel in 2019, surveys were planned and implemented to investigate distribution.

Not surprisingly, results from the 2019 and 2020 surveys indicated western toad numbers are low, but one of the three toads captured and released June 25 was 1-year-old juvenile, indicating that breeding is occurring within the drainage.