Western Toads breed in a wide variety of wetlands such as shallow silty or sandy ponds, lakeshores, oxbow wetlands, gravel pits and roadside ditches. They often return to the same wetlands year after year. The toad’s summer ranges include shrubby-forested areas, wet shrublands, avalanche slopes and meadows. Western Toads over-winter by burrowing in the ground with snow cover deep enough (up to 1.3 m) to prevent freezing and moist enough to prevent their skin from drying.
Western Toads are long-lived amphibians that can live for nine years. Females reach maturity at 4 to 6 years old and usually breed only once in their lifetime. These factors limit the Western Toad’s ability to recover from population declines.
Sometimes adults and young toads move together in large groups – this is called a ‘mass movement event.’