Wyoming toad

Anaxyrus baxteri

At the Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoological Society’s (DZS’s) breeding program for this federally endangered animal was No. 1 on the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ list of the Top 10 wildlife conservation success stories for 2007. Since 2001, the DZS has released over 10,000 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.

The Wyoming toad’s skin is various shades of brown – a perfect camouflage against their predators – and is covered in warts. Their heads have humped ridges. Native to southeast Wyoming, they are typically active at night and spend the day burrowed in wetland areas.

Fun Facts

  • When hunting, Wyoming toads rely on their prey to move because of their poor eyesight.

  • Wyoming toads ward off predators by excreting poison from glands near their head, either killing the predator or giving them a very upset stomach.