Okanagan Amphibians

Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance Long Toed Salamander by Dick Cannings long_tailed_salamander
Long Toed Salamander by Dick Cannings
Did you know that the Okanagan is home to several endangered frogs and salamanders? Because there is less natural habitat available to them, amphibians are living in and around developed landscapes such as golf courses, private homes and public parks. Amphibians can live and breed in urban and rural environments if their habitat is maintained and protected, and we can enjoy the occasional sighting and serenade of male frogs and spadefoot.

Spotlight on Okanagan Amphibians at Risk
Frogs and salamanders serve as indicators of the environmental health of both natural and man-made water features on your properties and the surrounding habitats. The major threats to amphibians in the Okanagan are habitat loss and degradation, introduction of non-native species such as carp and bull frog, and environmental contaminants. The permeable skin and shell-less eggs of amphibians are sensitive to environmental contaminants such as herbicides and nutrients commonly used in landscape management.
Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance Spadefoot Toad by Sara Ashpole spadefoot
Spadefoot Toad by Sara Ashpole
Sage Grasslands
The Great Basin Spadefoot and Tiger Salamander are desert-adapted amphibians. They use ponds for breeding but live in the surrounding grasslands for most of the year. Spadefoots like to burrow under the ground to escape the heat and all amphibians use the surrounding areas as summer feeding habitat. Local amphibians like to live in sandy, rocky and muddy areas around water features. Try to keep these habitat areas away from roads and walkways where soils get compacted making it difficult for amphibians to dig.

Click here for other ideas on how you can you manage your property, ponds and surrounding grasslands to be amphibian friendly.

Amphibians are an important part of our ecosystem! In the Okanagan we have a variety of frogs and salamanders with unique needs! For more information, help with planning, or to report a sighting please contact General Program Enquiries at OSCA.