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 Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>