Supporting Amphibians in Wetlands Along Williston Reservoir

Project Year: 2016-2017

View Provincial Database Record

Western Toad

Project Lead

DWB Consulting Services Ltd.


Peace Region

Project Type

Species-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Species of Interest Action Plan

Project ID


Amphibian Wetland Connectivity Along the Williston Reservoir

This project is designed to investigate and manage wetland and riparian habitats as they relate to the distribution, functional ecology, and spatial demographics of amphibians.

Six locations are targeted in this study:

  1. Middle Creek area,
  2. Six Mile and Lamonti Creek,
  3. Factor Ross,
  4. Ole Creek,
  5. Finlay River, and
  6. Chuchi Lake.

Different tracking methods, including Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging, are employed for mark, capture, release, and recapture of individuals migrating from wetlands into forested uplands.

This is a multi-year study to collect baseline ecological data that can be used to test the effectiveness of creating small trial wetlands as a potential enhancement, management and conservation measure. Monitoring is an essential first step for setting conservation priorities, and it offers the short-term benefit of raising awareness on issues that would otherwise go undetected. The Western Toad Working Group identified research focusing on these knowledge gaps: metapopulation ecology, migration patterns, disease, and short-term population trends, as the best approach to plan and set the stage for effective conservation action.


Update: Amphibian Research in Northern B.C.

Read more about the project at:

Final Report: Executive Summary

The topic of connectivity as it relates to the linkages that amphibians deliver between their breeding wetlands and terrestrial environments is the focal point of our investigations and framing of our management objectives. This project is directed under the applicable FWCP Action Plans, specifying priority actions that include: Species of Interest Action Plan 1b-2: Implement projects through an approved recovery strategy; Uplands Action Plan 1a-1: inventory the distribution, abundance, current function and connectivity of remaining ecologically important habitats; and Riparian and Wetlands Action Plan 1a-1: inventory the distribution, abundance, current function and connectivity of remaining riparian ecosystems.

The six study locations selected for this project are distributed widely throughout the Peace Region and they include: 1) Middle Creek Area, 2) Six Mile & Lamonti Creek, 3) Factor Ross, 4) Ole Creek, 5) Ed BirdEstella Lakes Park (Tsay Keh Dene), and 6) Chuchi Lake area. All species of amphibians are investigated in this project to align with the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan that was commissioned by the World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission in 2017. The western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) intersects our study region and is in the provincial blue list and federal Species at Risk registry as a species of special concern. The province of BC Western Toad Working Group and Environment and Climate Change Canada have developed a management plan for the western toad. Five conservation measures are prioritized for the western toad recovery strategy that this project is designed to address.

Efforts guided under this project are framed in context of a customized conservation action plan for the amphibians in the Peace Region that includes: A) Research, B) Public Outreach, and C) Intervention. This project covers Phase I that is used to gather the evidence required for Phase II. Phase I includes four years of ecological research into amphibians of the Peace Region and launching of a public-outreach initiative concerning their conservation and summarizing the work we do. The first two years of Phase I are complete. Phase II is a future endeavour as part of an overarching conservation plan to shift the focus more heavily toward physical intervention, such as creating wetlands. A partial summary of the population data is provided, including discussion and overview of where the research is headed. A comprehensive overview of our public outreach efforts, events, and communications related to this project is included.

The research includes plots, transects, tagging of amphibians with a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag for identifying and locating animals in the soil. Environmental data is gathered on terrestrial habitat and wetland breeding sites so that we can gain a better understanding of connectivity and use the science for evidence-based decision-making as we lay the groundwork for Phase II of this project to involve physical works, such as creating wetlands, for the management and conservation of amphibians in the Peace Region. One of the more exciting findings in our report is the tracking of two western toads that have been recaptured at different sites within our study areas seasonally and inter-annually.

Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.

View more about this project on the provincial database