The Great Basin Spadefoot is a unique amphibian adapted to life in dry conditions. In Canada, it is found only in south-central British Columbia and is classified as a blue-listed (vulnerable) species. To survive, spadefoots need three different types of environments – ponds for breeding, dry grasslands/open woodlands for foraging, and loose soil for hibernating. They also need protected areas where it’s possible to travel safely between these habitats.
At the Desert Centre, two ponds have been created to provide breeding sites for the spadefoot. The largest pond, located near the entrance, is an ephemeral pond – it is filled with water during the breeding season then allowed to dry up as it would in nature. In the habitat surrounding the pond, invasive plants have been removed and hundreds of native species planted to provide food and shelter for adult spadefoots. A viewing deck has been constructed and interpretive signage installed to give visitors an opportunity to observe and learn about the amphibian and its habitat.
Our thanks to the ‘Puddles to Peepers’ project for partnering on the installation of the large breeding pond, to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for their habitat restoration and signage support, to the Rotary Club of Osoyoos for funding the viewing deck construction, and to students from Osoyoos Secondary School and our dedicated volunteers for their hours of dedicated work.
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