Spea intermontana - (Cope, 1883)
Great Basin Spadefoot
Other English Common Names: Great Basin spadefoot
Synonym(s): Scaphiopus intermontanus Cope, 1883
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Spea intermontana (Cope, 1883) (TSN 206991)
French Common Names: crapaud du Grand Bassin
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104930
Element Code: AAABF02030
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Scaphiopodidae Spea
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wiens, J. J., and T. A. Titus. 1991. A phylogenetic analysis of Spea (Anura: Pelobatidae). Herpetologica 47:21-28.
Concept Reference Code: A91WIE01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Spea intermontana
Taxonomic Comments: Placed in the genus Scaphiopus by some authors. Hall (1998) argued against the recognition of Spea as a distinct genus, but most authors have accepted the split of Spea from Scaphiopus.

Wiens and Titus (1991) presented a phylogenetic analysis of the genus (or subgenus) Spea based on allozymic and morphological data.

Wiens and Titus (1991) found pronounced allozymic differences between small samples from populations of nominal S. intermontanus in Colorado and Oregon and suggested the possibility that two different species may be involved; further research is needed.

Garcia-Paris et al. (2003) used mtDNA to examine the phylogentic relationships of Pelobatoidea and found that the family Pelobatidae, as previously defined, is not monophyletic (Pelobates is sister to Megophryidae, not to Spea/Scaphiopus). They split the Pelobatidae into two families: Eurasian spadefoot toads (Pelobates), which retain the name Pelobatidae, and North American spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus, Spea), which make up the revived family Scaphiopodidae.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Aug2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (23Dec2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S3), California (SNR), Colorado (S3), Idaho (S4), Nevada (S4), Oregon (S5), Utah (S5), Washington (S5), Wyoming (S3)
Canada British Columbia (S3)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: T (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Threatened (22Apr2007)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: This small, rotund, toad-like amphibian has under each hind foot a prominent tubercle, or "spade", which it uses for burrowing. The species has a restricted distribution in Canada in the semi-arid and arid areas of southern interior British Columbia. Parts of this region are experiencing rapid loss and alteration of critical habitats for the spadefoot, including loss of breeding sites, because of urban and suburban expansion, increased agriculture and viticulture, and the introduction of alien fish species and disease. The protected areas it inhabits are losing surrounding natural buffer habitats due to encroaching agricultural and housing developments. In consequence, available habitat in some parts of the range is becoming fragmented, resulting in increased local extinction probabilities for the sites that remain. Although spadefoots may use artificial habitats for breeding, there is evidence that such habitats may be ecological traps from which there may be little or no recruitment.
Status History: Designated Special Concern in April 1998. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2001 and in April 2007. Last assessment based on an update status report.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Southern British Columbia (Cannings 1999) southward through central and eastern Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado to northwestern Arizona (Hall 1998). From edge of Cascade-Sierra axis east to the Rockies. To elevations of about 9,200 ft (Stebbins 1985).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Hundreds of occurrences.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 10,000.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Most of habitat is not subject to incompatible uses or major threats, but intensive-extensive agriculture likely has extirpated/reduced some populations.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Area of occupancy and abundance are relatively stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, likely less than 25 percent decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow to narrow.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Southern British Columbia (Cannings 1999) southward through central and eastern Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado to northwestern Arizona (Hall 1998). From edge of Cascade-Sierra axis east to the Rockies. To elevations of about 9,200 ft (Stebbins 1985).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001)*, Coconino (04005), Mohave (04015)
CO Delta (08029), Garfield (08045), Mesa (08077), Moffat (08081)*, Rio Blanco (08103)*
ID Ada (16001)*, Bannock (16005), Bingham (16011)*, Blaine (16013), Butte (16023)*, Canyon (16027), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037), Lincoln (16063), Minidoka (16067), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+, North Fork Gunnison (14020004)+, Lower Gunnison (14020005)+*, Westwater Canyon (14030001)+*, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+*, Vermilion (14040109)+*, Lower Yampa (14050002)+*, Little Snake (14050003)+*, Upper White (14050005)+*, Piceance-Yellow (14050006)+*, Lower White (14050007)+*, Lower Green-Diamond (14060001)+*, Paria (14070007)+, Chinle (14080204)+*
15 Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon (15010001)+, Grand Canyon (15010002)+, Kanab (15010003)+, Fort Pierce Wash (15010009)+, Lower Virgin (15010010)+
17 American Falls (17040206)+*, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeds sporadically May-July, often after spring or summer rains. Eggs laid in small packets of 20-40 eggs. Female may lay a total of about 300-500 eggs. Under optimal conditions eggs probably hatch in about 2-3 days (Nussbaum et al. 1983). Larval period lasts a few to several weeks.
Ecology Comments: Predators include birds and probably fishes.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates up to several hundred meters between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.
Riverine Habitat(s): Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Mainly sagebrush flats, semi-desert shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodland. Digs its own burrow in loose soil or uses those of small mammals. Breeds in temporary or permanent water, including rain pools, pools in intermittent streams, and flooded areas along streams. Eggs are attached to vegetation in water or placed on bottom of pool.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Herbivore, Scavenger
Food Comments: Not well documented. Adults known to eat insects. Larvae probably eat algae, organic debris, plant tissue, etc., sometimes invertebrates and amphibian larvae.
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Primarily nocturnal. Sometimes forages during the day.
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Spadefoots

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway, especially at night, such that toads rarely if ever cross successfully; urban development dominated by buildings and pavement; the largest, widest, fast-flowing rivers.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Spadefoots can cross some fairly wide flowing rivers, so only the biggest rivers with strong current should be treated as barriers.

Detailed information on movements of these toads is not available, but opportunistic field observations of various species indicate that they readily move up to at least several hundred meters from breeding sites (G. Hammerson, pers. obs.). The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the good vagility of spadefoots, their ability to utilize ephemeral or newly created breeding sites, and the consequent likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Adults tend to exhibit high fidelity to breeding sites. For example, in Florida, inter-pond exchange of adults was minimal and short-distance (130 m; one was 416 m) (Greenberg and Tanner 2005), but recaptures were rare and some dispersals may have been missed. Additionally metamorphs may disperse large distances and probably sometimes eventually breed in distant non-natal pools. In Florida, Greenberg and Tanner (2005) did not track inter-pond movement by Scaphiopus holbrookii metamorphs, but it appeared likely that metamorphs ''rescue'' local populations by breeding-4 or 5 years later-in non-natal ponds as adults.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent distance refers to distance from breeding sites and is likely a conservative value.
Date: 15Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Apr2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 31Dec2002
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Andersen, M.D. 2011. Maxent-based species distribution models. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Andersen, M.D. and B. Heidel. 2011. HUC-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Baxter, G. T., and M. D. Stone. 1980. Amphibians and reptiles of Wyoming. Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 137 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • Cannings, R. J. 1999. Wildlife in British Columbia at risk: Great Basin spadefoot toad. British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria. 6 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • García-París, M., D.R. Buchholtz, and G. Parra-Olea. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of Pelobatoidea re-examined using mtDNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28:12-23.

  • Hall, J.A. 1998. Scaphiopus intermontanus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 650:1-17.

  • Hammerson, G. A. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles in Colorado. Second edition. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. xxvi + 484 pp.

  • McGee, M., D.A. Keinath, and G.P. Beauvais. 2002. Survey for rare vertebrates in the Pinedale Field Office of the USDI Bureau of Land Management (Wyoming). Unpublished report prepared for USDI Bureau of Land Management - Wyoming State Office by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database - University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming.

  • Nussbaum, R. A., E. D. Brodie, Jr. and R. M. Storm. 1983. Amphibians and reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 332 pp.

  • Nussbaum, R.A., E.D. Brodie, Jr., and R.M. Storm. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 332 pp.

  • Species at Risk Branch. 2002. Species at risk range maps. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. Online. Available: http://www.sis.ec.gc.ca/download_e.htm.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985a. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. xiv + 336 pp.

  • Wiens, J. J., and T. A. Titus. 1991. A phylogenetic analysis of Spea (Anura: Pelobatidae). Herpetologica 47:21-28.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
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