Toad Hordes March in Washington State

PORT ANGELES, Wash., Aug. 16 (UPI) — A Washington lake mostly known for its fish is the center of attention for another animal as “millions” of tiny toads emerge to head for land, officials say.

Tiny Western toads, newly metamorphosed from tadpoles, were first noticed last week scrambling across land around Anderson Lake near Port Angeles, Wash., in impressive numbers, the (Port Angeles) Peninsula Daily News reported.

“I was just out there yesterday, and saw a million of them heading toward the woods,” state park ranger Mike Zimmerman said Friday.

“There are no more polliwogs,” he added.

“It’s a pretty unique situation,” Zimmerman, who has been a ranger for 14 years, said.

“I haven’t seen this phenomenon” in those years, he said.

Migrations of the western toad, or bufo boreas, are common throughout its range, which extends from western British Colombia and southern Alaska through the Western United States as far south as Nevada.

One Washington wildlife expert said he wasn’t impressed by the reports of millions of tiny toads at Anderson Lake.

“It’s typical for them to metamorphose (from tadpoles) en masse,” Marc Hayes, a senior research scientist at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said.

“I think it’s a function of where you are and what you’re paying attention to.”

It “could be simply a very normal situation; normal toad production,” he said.

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Categorized | Fish, Other
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