What is the current status of the Sonoran Desert Toad, Incilius Alvarius?
The Sonoran Desert Toad is currently listed as endangered in New Mexico. This toad was once prevalent in a small area of New Mexico and Southeastern California but now there are very small populations found in these areas. It is not known if the areas are part of the toad’s natural habitat or if agricultural irrigation and weather patterns drove the toads there. The Sonoran Desert Toad’s geographic range also includes the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
In Arizona and Sonora, there are no conservation restrictions on incilius alvarius. There are multiple efforts happening to get a population count in these states. It is estimated that there are currently millions of toads with the majority located in Sonora. There is a threat with the growing popularity of 5-MeO-DMT that if enough adult toads get taken (or die) it will cause populations to collapse. This can be avoided by setting up sanctuaries (like ours) and people using synthetic 5-MeO-DMT
There is also the risk of the Sonoran Desert Toad populations diminishing from chytrid fungus. Chytrid fungus is an infectious disease that affects amphibians worldwide. In some amphibians it has a 100% mortality rate. 90 species of amphibians have gone extinct because of chytrid fungus and it has been termed “the frog apocolpyse”. There is a microbial anti-fungal wash that is being researched and used in Colorado to treat chytrid fungus. Luckily Chytrid fungus ceases growth in water temperatures 82.4 F. Researchers in Arizona studying lowland leopard frogs found a correlation between CF rates and water temperature. The higher the temperature the lower CF rate. This is good news for the Sonoran Desert Toad that breeds aquatically at the hottest time of year.