Arroyo Toad
Photo by Creed Clayton, USFWS biologist, Castaic Creek, Los Angeles County

Practicum Project | 2022

Arroyo Toad Team

Amphibians are projected to disappear in more than half their habitats in the next 20 years due to their extreme sensitivity (USGS). The loss of such a vital group impacts not only the aesthetic value of nature, but also the availability of resources that all living organisms, including us, rely on. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is a federal agency that monitors species throughout the US that are vulnerable to population decline and protects those that are in significant danger by listing them within the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). As part of the ESA listing protocol, there is a status review conducted every 5 years to analyze factors that influence the success of a species. Our practicum team will collect current information about the arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus), which the USFWS will use in developing the toad’s 5-year status review. This project will create an in-depth literature review that will evaluate various threats, such as dams and invasive species, to arroyo toad populations. Additionally, we will collect on-site field data in arroyo toad habitats to infer trends to inform the 5-year status review. The overarching goal of this practicum project is to deliver a detailed report on the current status of the arroyo toad to the USFWS to determine how to distribute federal conservation efforts amongst endangered species. 

Client Names: USFWS & USGS

Professor Names: Brad Schaffer (Professor) & Dave Daversa (Post-Doc)

Our Names:

  • David Blake 
  • Alin Rangel
  • Darby Gaffney
  • Natalie Quah
  • Emilee Hosking
  • Gavin Hughes
  • Grecia Velasquez
  • Harlan Le
  • Jaelene Clarisse Salas
  • Michael Palermo