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Yosemite Toad

Yosemite toad

About Yosemite :
The Yosemite toad is very colorful and is considered as one of the most common high elevation of Sierra amphibians. They are usually active for only five to six months per year, it has very a short period in which they need to reproduce and eat a lot to survive the whole long season of hibernation. Yosemite toads has declined in Yosemite National Park, where this toad was first found and after which it is named as Yosemite

Habitat :
You can easily see them on wet mountain meadows, and the borders of forests, they are not more than one hundred and fifty meters from permanent water elevation

Physical features :
Yosemite toad is generally robust, stocky with dry, uniformly warty skin. They do not have cranial crests. They have large, flat oval paratoid glands. Their eyes are closely set and pupils are horizontal. Their dorsal stripe is very faint or usually absent. Both male and females are colored differently. Males are generally pale yellow olive-green with few dark blotches. Females and juveniles are blotched heavily on a light background. Throat and belly is pale for both male and females.

Behavior :
They are usually active in daytime, especially in sunny areas. It starts from April to July, to late September or October. After completing their breeding, males and females toads move from the breeding pond into meadows where they feed for 3 months before the snows comes. In winter, they shelter in rodent burrows, willow thickets, adjoining meadows. Compared to other toads, they move slowly, they often use walking or crawling motion along with short hops. Yosemite toads depend on parotoid glands and warts, which can secrete a poison that protects them from predators.

Reproduction :
Reproduction is always in water but fertilization always takes place outside the water. Eggs laying and mating always takes place in shallow pools or lakes or in streams from May to August, after the snow starts melting. Males come at breeding place a few days before females arrive. Males usually stay for 2 to 3 weeks, while females leave after a week. The male toad always fertilizes the eggs as a female lays them and then they separate. Eggs are laid in shallow lakes and slow-moving streams. Females lay around 1,500 to 3,000 eggs at one time. Tadpoles metamorphosed in 55 - 70 days at one location. Tadpoles are preyed upon by other, birds, beetles, and probably frogs.

Diet :
They consume wide variety of invertebrates, like beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and millipedes. Their large sticky tongue helps them to catch their prey and bring it into their mouth to eat.

Conservation status :
It has been recorded from population studies that the Yosemite Toad has been disappearing from over 50%. Remaining populations of these toads may not be reproducing enough to survive in future. The causes of the decline are still not clear. Disease, increase in ultraviolet radiation, predatory fishes, pesticide contamination, have increased greatly, which has contributed a lot for this decline.

Voice :
They make a lot of noise especially during monsoon season. If you listen to them carefully a rapid musical trill are repeated at frequent intervals.