Biology Faculty & Staff Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-26-2017


This report covers the fourth consecutive year (2013-2016) of research on the population dynamics, ecology, and conservation status of the Arizona Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) in New Mexico. The year 2016 represented the rare opportunity to study the effects of El Niño, which typically brings above average precipitation to New Mexico, on the breeding behavior and ecology of the Arizona toad. We expected that the El Niño-driven above average precipitation during the winter of 2015 and spring of 2016 would result in increased detection of toads at breeding sites, especially those sites that were dry in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Furthermore, we expected to observe a decrease of tadpole mortality at breeding sites caused by streams and tanks drying before tadpole metamorphosis. These expectations were based on observations of Arizona Toad’s breeding success in Arizona during El Niño years. In addition to breeding surveys, we continued monitoring Arizona toad populations for the amphibian fungal disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and chigger skin parasites, which may cause toad mortality. Herein we also model stream environmental factors that regulate toad breeding and success and summarize disease prevalence in the region.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License