Unfortunately we start today’s Wild Fact on a somber note as the Golden Toad hasn’t been seen since 1989 and these beautiful creatures are thought to be extinct.
What was the cause for their decline?
The Golden Toad will go down in the history books as the first animal believed to be extinct as a result of man-made climate change. That’s right, it is postulated that the large quantities of carbon dioxide we pumped into the air cause the Costa Rican rainforest to become hotter and drier than ever before. This decrease in moisture made it virtually impossible for the Golden Toad to survive. The incredibly shocking part of this story is the lack of action on our part to ensure the Golden Toad is the last animal to go extinct as a result of our activities.
But enough of the sad stories. Let’s celebrate this toad’s life by checking out a few cool facts and learning as much as we can about the amazing Golden Toad.
Cool Facts About The Golden Toad
- This toad is the poster child for extreme sexual dimorphism (fancy way of saying that males and females look different). For instance the males are a bright orange while the females are a dark, patchy colour with a few bright red edges
- The Golden Toad was known only to exist in a small section of the northern montane cloud forest located in northern Costa Rica. Today, this area is protected and is known as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Unfortunately no amount of habitat protection can prevent the harmful effects of climate change.
- It is believed that the Golden Toad spent some considerable time living underground as they were not usually spotted until the rainy season. From April to June these toads would come to the surface to begin their mating season.
Making a Difference
The Golden Toad had some unique characteristics such as their bright orange colouring, preferring a life underground and even the selection of a very limited habitat in the northern montane cloud forest. It may be too late to save this incredible species but if you would like to become part of a greater cause to ensure that no other animals fall to the hands of man-made climate change then I strongly urge you to become involved with a group such as the Natural Resources Defense Council or 350.org