Said Dr. Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO: “The reintroduction of the Kihansi spray toad to the Kihansi Gorge is a momentous achievement in conservation. It clearly shows how zoos can play an important role in conservation. This has been a truly global effort to save a species. This project proves that through partnership and science – wildlife can prevail.”
While the Toledo Zoo and Bronx Zoo have managed the assurance populations of Kihansi spray toads, the Tanzanian government has managed the Lower Kihansi Environment Management Project (LKEMP) in the gorge. A gravity-fed misting system was installed after construction of the dam to artificially replicate the waterfall’s spray that maintained the toad’s verdant, moist five-acre microhabitat in the gorge.
In 2010, 100 Kihansi spray toads were returned to Tanzania, where a propagation center at the University of Dar es Salaam allowed for the establishment of a third assurance population and preparations for the species’ eventual repatriation.
The Bronx Zoo sent Don Boyer, Curator of Herpetology, and Alyssa Borek, Herpetology Keeper, to participate in the reintroduction of the toads in the gorge.
“A group of about 40 people representing all partnering organizations and local villages traveled to the gorge for the ceremonial release,” said Boyer. “The enthusiasm and excitement was clear as everyone took their turn releasing a group of the toads. It was amazing to see the project reach this milestone.”
The Bronx and the Toledo zoos will continue to maintain an assurance population of the spray toads and have them on exhibit for visitors to see. The released toads and habitat will be closely monitored to ensure that environmental conditions remain favorable and to evaluate the progress of the animals. Additional releases may occur periodically to bolster the number of toads with the hope of having a viable, self-sustaining population. The Bronx Zoo
, a Wildlife Conservation Society park, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and Martin Luther King Day. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $12 for cars and $16 for buses. WCS’s Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com
or call 718-367-1010.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Note to the Media:
If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to www.wcs.org