Arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus) is found in low gradient, medium-to-large streams and rivers with intermittent and perennial flow in coastal and desert drainages in central and southern California, and Baja California, Mexico. Arroyo toads occupy aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats in the remaining suitable drainages within its range (see Home Range and Critical Habitat map below). Arroyo toads are breeding habitat specialists and require slow-moving streams that are composed of sandy soils with sandy streamside terraces. Reproduction is dependent upon the availability of very shallow, still, or low-flow pools in which breeding, egg-laying, and tadpole development occur. Suitable habitat for the arroyo toad is created and maintained by periodic flooding and scouring that modify stream channels, redistribute channel sediments, and alter pool location and form. These habitat requirements are largely dependent upon natural hydrological cycles and scouring events.

Federal Status


California Status


Survey Protocol

Home Range and Critical Habitat

Map Data Source: California Wildlife Habitat Relationship (CWHR)USFWS Critical Habitat Data Portal

Photo credits: header (cropped) – USFWS Flickr, featured image – USFWS Flickr