Zoo Animals

Wyoming toad

Anaxyrus baxteri

At the Detroit Zoo
The Wyoming toad can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. The Detroit Zoological Society’s (DZS’s) breeding program for this federally endangered animal was No. 1 on the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA’s) list of the Top 10 wildlife conservation success stories for 2007. Since 2001, the DZS has released more than 8,275 Wyoming toads into the wild as tadpoles, toadlets and adults. The breeding population is maintained in special bio-secure rooms behind the scenes of the amphibian center.

Description
The Wyoming toad’s skin is various shades of brown – a perfect camouflage against its predators – and is covered in warts. Its head has a humped ridge. Native to southeast Wyoming, it is typically active at night and spends the day burrowed in wetland areas.

Fun Facts

  • When hunting, the Wyoming toad relies on its prey to move because of its poor eyesight.

  • The Wyoming toad wards off predators by secreting poison from its neck, either killing the predator or giving it a very upset stomach.