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Plains Spadefoot

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Plains Spadefoot ToadThe known range of the Plains Spadefoot in Alberta is based predominantly on information gathered in the last 20 years, although there are a few older records of the species in the province. Recent increases in observers and search effort has also resulted in more sighting locations. The lack of historic records for the species makes it difficult to assess whether the range of the Plains Spadefoot in Alberta is expanding, contracting, or stable. 

The Plains Spadefoot ranges further north than any other species of spadefoot toad and the species reaches its northern limit in Alberta. The Plains Spadefoot was first documented in Alberta in 1930 and since that time has been recorded throughout much of southeastern Alberta. Until recently, the distribution of the Plains Spadefoot in Alberta was believed to be from the Montana border north to the Red Deer River and from the Saskatchewan border west as far as Pincher Creek. Prior to 1996, scattered occurrences north of the Red Deer River near Reflex Lakes and Dillberry Lake Provincial Park (north of Provost), and Sounding Lake (southwest of Provost), as well as fossil records near Killam show that this species may be more widespread in the province. Subsequent results of surveys conducted in 1996 have shown that this species is quite plentiful in sandy areas north of Youngstown.

Reprinted from Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 25 (1999), with permission from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

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