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Great Plains Toad

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Great Plains ToadThe populations of Great Plains Toads found in Alberta represent the most northerly extension of the range of this species. These populations appear to be somewhat clustered in relatively confined areas over the southeastern comer of the province. There are six listed general population areas in the province of Alberta: Empress / Bindloss, South Saskatchewan River / Hilda, Medicine Hat, Lost River / Milk River, Lake Newell / Little Rolling Hills, and Hays / Purple Springs. Additional populations have been recorded in and near Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield. Great Plains Toads may occur relatively continuously from the Red Deer River south to Highway 3 and the north edge of the Cypress Hills, and between the southwestern edge of the Cypress Hills south to the Milk River. There is a wide gap between the populations to the north of the Cypress Hills, and those to the southwest. However, Great Plains Toads have not been recorded in the Pakowki Lake sandhill areas in spite of appropriate habitat and several search efforts. This is one region in which an expanded search effort may aid to clarify the occurrence of populations.

Many new breeding sites have been documented in southeastern Alberta in the CFB Suffield area. Compilation of all known records shows that the generalized distribution of the Great Plains Toad in Alberta is from the Red Deer River south to the Montana border, and east from Taber to the Saskatchewan border. The historic range of the species is not well documented and insofar as is known, the current range may be equivalent to the historic range.

Reprinted from Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 14 (1998), with permission from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

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