Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher
The Kihansi Spray Toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis, is a dwarf toad, which rarely grows to be more than 2cm long. It is now classified as ‘EXTINCT IN THE WILD’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This species was only known from a two-hectare range around the Kihansi Falls, in the Kihansi Gorge, eastern Tanzania.
The serious decline and extinction of this species appears related to habitat loss and the devastating amphibian fungal disease, chytridiomycosis. In 2000, a dam was constructed on the Kihansi River, which cut off 90 percent of the original water flow to the gorge. The volume of spray was significantly reduced, which also affected the vegetational composition of the Kihansi Spray Toad’s habitat.
A captive breeding programme is ongoing in Toledo and New York Bronx Zoos. The programme also involves capacity building, in which Tanzanian experts are trained on amphibian husbandry techniques. These trained experts will then return to help build the breeding facility in Tanzania in preparation for Kihansi Spray Toad rehabilitation to their nativewetland habitat.
Geographic Range of the Kihansi Spray Toad
To learn more about the Kihansi Spray Toad, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species by clicking their logo below.