Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Kihansi spray toads make historic return to Tanzania

18.08.2010
Tiny toads, extinct in the wild, now reside in propagation center in Dar es Salaam after being bred by Toledo Zoo and Bronx Zoo

In a bold effort to save one of the world's rarest amphibians from extinction, one hundred Kihansi spray toads have been flown home to Tanzania after being painstakingly reared at the Bronx Zoo and The Toledo Zoo working in close partnership with the Tanzanian government and the World Bank.

The toads now reside at a new, state-of the-art propagation center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital, with the eventual goal of reintroducing the tiny amphibians into their former habitat.

"On behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, we are very grateful to the Bronx Zoo and The Toledo Zoo for taking care of these precious toads (KST) for ten years, and now they have safely arrived home via KLM flight and all 100 toads are cheerful as witnessed by our Tanzanian trained KST keepers at the facility at UDSM Zoology Department. We are very optimistic that they will acclimatize soon and be taken to their homeland in Kihansi Gorge in the near future," said Anna Maembe on behalf of the Government of Tanzania.

According to Dr. Anne Baker, The Toledo Zoo's Executive Director and CEO, "We are extremely proud of the staff members, curators, and keepers whose expertise in scientific husbandry made this tremendous accomplishment possible. The level of collaboration involved here—from the World Bank, the Tanzanian government, and the participating zoos to the Tanzanian field biologists and students who shared their knowledge with us—has been nothing short of inspiring."

"The return of these special creatures to Tanzania is a landmark achievement for the Bronx Zoo, the Tanzanian government, The Toledo Zoo, and the World Bank," said Jim Breheny, Director of the Bronx Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society Senior Vice President of Living Institutions. "For years, the Bronx Zoo has been anticipating this important step toward reintroduction of the species, and we are ecstatic that the first toads are thriving in the new facility."

"This is an important step that has been achieved through a lot of hard work. The Bank has financed Tanzania's commitment to save the Kihansi Spray Toad (KST) for nearly a decade, and has been looking forward to a successful reintroduction, which will be a measure of the recovery of the ecosystem and the success of the Lower Kihansi Environmental Management Project (LKEMP). While we remain optimistic about a successful reintroduction, we acknowledge individual and collective efforts and commitment of all players in this project from within and outside Tanzania," said Jane Kibbassa, Task Team Leader for LKEMP.

The Kihansi spray toad's unique odyssey began shortly after the species was first discovered in 1996 living in a five acre micro-habitat created by the spray of nearby waterfalls in the Kihansi Gorge.

In 1999, the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the gorge dramatically changed the Kihansi spray toad's habitat. Although this dam is vital to the Tanzanian economy in that it generates one-third of Tanzania's total electrical supply, its construction reduced the original size of the Kihansi falls to 10 percent of its former flow, drastically lessening the mist zone in which the toads thrived.

Following an agreement between WCS and the Tanzanian government and with funding from the World Bank, which constructed the dam, scientists and Tanzanian officials collected an assurance colony of 499 Kihansi spray toads from the gorge.

The toad was last seen in the wild in 2004, and in 2009 the toad was declared to be extinct in the wild by the by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Today, 5,000 toads live at The Toledo Zoo and 1,500 reside at the Bronx Zoo. Both zoos will continue breeding and exhibiting the animals, returning additional shipments to Tanzania as their numbers rebound.

The Tanzanian government has been managing the Lower Kihansi Environment Management Project in the gorge. A system of sprinklers, replicating the toad's habitat, has been installed in preparation for the species' return. The ultimate goal is to return the toads to their natural habitat within the gorge.

Scientists are still debating the ultimate cause of extinction of this species in the wild, but theorize a combination of habitat change, pesticide exposure, and the emergence of infective chytrid fungus led to their demise. Chytrid is responsible for alarming crashes and extinctions of amphibian species in many parts of the world.

A species unusual among toads – females give birth to live, fully-formed young, rather than laying eggs that hatch into free-living tadpoles.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>