|BACK 1 LEVEL|
WELCOME TO THE UBC OKANAGAN
Four species of amphibians, representing 2 orders and 4 families, are known to occur on campus:
ORDER CAUDATA, FAMILY AMBYSTOMATIDAE
Long-toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum)
This yellow-listed species is the only salamander known from the Central Okanagan. It is a species of mole salamander, and like other members of that group, it spends much of the year hidden under logs or burrowing in soil, but migrates to wetlands to breed in the early spring. Because they are nocturnal, they are rarely seen.
Long-toed Salamanders have been found adjacent to Redwing Pond (behind the EME building).
ORDER ANURA, FAMILY RANIDAE
Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris)
This is a relatively large frog, widely distributed in the interior of British Columbia. Although it is common, its vocalizations are produced underwater; thus, we are unlikely to hear them, and are seldom aware of their presence.
On campus, Columbia Spotted Frogs are known in Redwing Pond (behind the EME building). Several years ago a huge mass of Columbia Spotted Frog eggs was discovered at the margin of the pond.
ORDER ANURA, FAMILY HYALIDAE
Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla)
The Pacific Chorus Frog (a.k.a., the Pacific Tree Frog) is the best known amphibian in British Columbia. This tiny frog has pads on its toes, and varies greatly in colour, from bright green to tan. It is the most vociferous of our species, producing the loud "ribbit" calls commonly used to represent frogs in animated cartooons. Because they occur in great numbers in many wetlands the calls of individuals are commonly lost in a loud chorus.
In spring they can often be heard calling from the margin of Robert Lake, Tutt Pond (south of the landfill) and the ditch forming the northern border of H Lot.
ORDER ANURA, FAMILY SCAPHIOPODIDAE
Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana)
The Great Basin Spadefoot is a blue-listed species. We know little of its habits, but it migrates to two breeding sites on campus (1. Robert Lake, and 2. a ditch forming the northern border of H Lot). At these locations its loud snoring calls can be heard in mid-April. At other times of the year, spadefoots might be widely distributed about campus, but because they spend much of that time underground, they are seldom observed. Much of campus has been identified as critical habitat for this species-at-risk.
For current information on its status, see:
Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2017. Recovery Strategy for the Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa. 2 parts, 31 pp. + 40 pp.