Spea intermontana 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Scaphiopodidae

Scientific Name: Spea intermontana
Species Authority: (Cope, 1883)
Common Name(s):
English Great Basin Spadefoot
Scaphiopus intermontanus Cope, 1883
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: 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 separated 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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-08-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A. & Hobin, L.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of sub-populations and localities, and large population size.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2015 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs from southern British Columbia, Canada (Cannings 1999) and in the USA from central and eastern Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado to northwestern Arizona (Hall 1998). It can be found from the edge of the Cascade-Sierra axis east to the Rockies. Elevational range extends to about 2,800 m asl (Stebbins 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is widespread and locally abundant. The range size and population levels are relatively stable.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitats include mainly sagebrush flats, semi-desert shrublands, and pinyon-juniper woodland. The toads dig their own burrows in loose soil or use those of small mammals. They breed 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 bottoms of pools.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Most of its habitat is not subject to incompatible uses or major threats, but intensive-extensive agriculture has probably extirpated/reduced some historical sub-populations. Sub-populations near busy roads may incur significant mortality, but this is not a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions
No species-specific conservation actions are needed. It occurs in many protected areas including Haynes’ Lease Ecological Reserve, South Okanagan Wildlife Management Area, White Lake Grasslands Protected Area and South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes
8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

Bibliography [top]

Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York.

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

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

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

Hammerson, G.A. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles in Colorado. Second edition. University Press of Colorado, Boulder.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

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

Species at Risk Branch. 2002. Species at Risk Range Maps. Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada. (, Ottawa.

Stebbins, R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

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

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Spea intermontana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59046A78908125. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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