Kihansi Spray Toads (KST) have been flown back to the country in an effort to save them from extinction. The move has been made in collaboration with World Bank and the Tanzanian government. The Bank has financed Tanzania’s commitment to save the KST for nearly a decade, and has been looking forward to a successful re-introduction, which some commentators argue will be a measure of the recovery of the ecosystem.
The toads were taken from the Bronx Zoo in New York and the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. The ultimate goal is to subsequently return them to their natural habitat within a gorge. Since their arrival, they have been moved to a top notch propagation centre but will eventually be released into the wild.
Anna Meambe, a spokesperson for government of Tanzania said, ‘we are very grateful to the Bronx Zoo and The Toledo Zoo for taking care of these precious toads 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’.
KST were first discovered in Tanzania in 1996 but following the construction of a hydroelectric dam, their main habitat was severely damaged, reducing the population to 10% of the former flow.
The collaboration between the Bank and the Tanzanian government brought together individuals from different fields of life and has consequently invigorated debate about ways to enhance the country’s ecosystem.