This species inhabits the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia (records from Chechnya require further verification; not present in Dagestan [Mazanaeva, 2000]), northeastern Turkey (although records here might be confused with Bufo bufo) and the Caspian coastline of northwestern Iran. It has an altitudinal range of sea level to 1,900m asl (former Soviet Union).
Habitat and Ecology
Its habitat is mountain coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests upwards to the sub alpine belt. The toad prefers wet, shaded sites in forests, bush lands, their edges and glades. Spawning occurs in clear, flowing or semi-flowing water, mainly in brooks, springs and small rivers, but also in puddles, ponds, lakes and seepage pools.
There is no information on the population of this species.
Destruction of forests and drainage of wetlands by people might result in population declines of this hygrophilous forest species. Some Iranian populations might be impacted by development in the Caspian coastal area. Because of its highly specialized habitat requirements, this species is particularly susceptible to anthropogenic threats. The recent spread within the Caucasus of the predatory North American Raccoon Procyon lotor has resulted in population declines of Bufo verrucosissimus.
Listed in the Red Data Books of Azerbaijan and Russia (and in the Red List of Krasnodar Region and Adygea in particular). It has been recorded from one nature reserve (and two national parks) in Russia, nine nature reserves in Georgia, three in Azerbaijan. In Iran the species is present in the protected northern Hyrcanian forests. Further research into populations in northeastern Turkey is needed to better determine the presence and distribution in this country of Bufo verrucosissimus and Bufo bufo.
Until recently this was considered to be a subspecies of Bufo bufo. Three subspecies are currently recognized: B.v. verrucosissimus Pallas, 1814; B.v. circassicus Orlov and Tuniyev, 1989; and B.v. turowi (Krasovsky, 1933).
Boris Tuniyev, Göran Nilson, Natalia Ananjeva, Aram Agasyan, Nikolai Orlov, Sako Tuniyev, Steven Anderson, Sergius Kuzmin, Matthias Stöck, Theodore Papenfuss, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Ismail Ugurtas, David Tarkhnishvili, Sergius Kuzmin, Matthias Stöck, Theodore Papenfuss, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Ismail Ugurtas, Steven Anderson, David Tarkhnishvili, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev 2009. Bufo verrucosissimus. In: IUCN 2014