Species At Risk

Fowler’s Toad

(Anaxyrus fowleri)


Fowler’s Toad
Fowler’s Toad occurrences map


Fowler’s Toad is a grey to beige-coloured medium-sized toad with numerous dark brown spots and warts on its textured skin. They typically have white to cream coloured bellies. The throat of the males is dark while it is white on the females.

Fowler’s Toads have a distinctive call that is sometimes described as a prolonged shrill or a “muffled scream from a distressed sheep”.


Fowler’s Toad is found throughout much of eastern North America, from the Gulf Coast north to the Great Lakes. In Canada, Fowler’s Toad is restricted to only three localities: Rondeau, Long Point and Niagara.


In Ontario, Fowler’s Toads inhabit open beaches, dunes, sandy shorelines, rocky pools, creek and stream mouths, backshore wetlands, and marshes along the northern shore of Lake Erie.


The main threat to Fowler’s Toads is habitat loss and degradation. The loss and degradation of dunes, beaches, and wetlands as a result of shoreline development and recreation use, reduces areas for breeding, hiding, burrowing, and hibernating. Storm water runoff from urban, agricultural and industrial areas results in poor water quality in breeding and tadpole nursery areas and affects the survival of Fowler’s Toads.


The Fowler’s Toad and its habitat are protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Fowler’s Toad

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Fowler’s Toad. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in Fowler’s Toad recovery. If you find a Fowler’s Toad on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • Register with the Herpetofaunal Atlas program to receive e-mail newsletters, event notifications, and other important updates about the Herpetofaunal Atlas project as it develops. Visit their website to see how you can participate and learn more about Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians. www.ontarionature.org/herpetofaunal_atlas.html.

Did you know?

Fowler’s Toads breed in mid- to late spring in sandy bottom ponds, stream and creek mouths, shallow near shore areas, and rocky pools. Eggs hatch in about seven days and tadpoles develop in these habitats for 40 to 60 days, after which they undergo a metamorphosis and emerge onto beaches as “toadlets’ which are less than ten millimetres in size.

Did you know?

Fowler’s Toads are nocturnal and are mostly active at night, but can occasionally be seen during rainy overcast days.

Did you know?

Fowler’s Toads come to the water’s edge of the beach at night to feed, to cool off and absorb water.

Did you know?

Juvenile and adult Fowler’s Toads hibernate below the frost line and just above the water table in sand dunes during the fall and winter months. During the active season they take refuge in dunes and sandy beaches to conserve water, keep cool and to avoid predation.

Did you know?

Snakes such as the Common Garter Snake and the Eastern Hog-nosed Snake are the main predators of toads. However, raccoons, bullfrogs, fish and some birds are also known to prey upon toads.

Did you know?

The skin of a Fowler’s toad has a distinct odour of unroasted peanuts.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.