Knowledge regarding the locations of populations of endangered species is a critical part of recovery and facilitates land use planning that avoids unnecessary impacts. Regulatory agencies often support the development of survey guidelines designed to standardize the methods and maximize the probability of detection, thereby avoiding incorrectly concluding a species is absent from a site. Here, using simulations with data collected using automated recording devices (ARDs) we evaluated the efficacy of the existing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's survey requirements for the endangered Houston Toad (Anaxyrus houstonensis). We explored the effect of (1) increasing survey duration, (2) increasing the number of surveys, and (3) combinations of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, rainfall) on the detection probability and the number of surveys needed to be 95% confident of absence. We found that increases in both the duration of the survey and the number of surveys conducted decreased the likelihood of incorrectly concluding the species was absent from the site, and that the number of surveys required to be 95% confident greatly exceeded the existing survey requirements. Targeting specific environmental conditions was also an effective way to decrease the number of surveys required but the infrequency in which these conditions occurred might make application difficult in some years. Overall, we suggest that the survey effort necessary to achieve confidence in the absence of Houston Toads at a site is more practically achievable with the use of ARDs, but this may not be suitable in all monitoring scenarios.