RARE TOADS RE-INTRODUCED IN KIHANSI GORGE

TANZANIA: NATURE/DAILY NEWS/8/5/18 SABANews 1

Tanzanian scientists re-introduce rare toads to Kihansi Falls (Pic. Daily News)

MOROGORO – Science experts in TANZANIA have successfully reintroduced thousands of KIHANSI Spray Toads to their natural settings in the eastern region of MOROGORO.

The DAILY NEWS says the NINE-THOUSAND-873 toads are now back at the KIHANSI Falls in the KIHANSI Gorge located at the foot of the UDZUNGWA Mountains.

It says the reintroduction started slowly in 2012 after scientists were able to co-inhabit them with the chytrid fungus, which led to the massive deaths of the rare species in the early 2000s.

The toads, only available in TANZANIA, emanated from the 500 taken to AMERICA where they were bred in captivity at both BRONX Zoo and TOLEDO Zoo to save them from extinction in their area.

The rare Kihansi Spray toad

A University of DAR ES SALAAM Laboratory Scientist says the toads they are returning to their natural environment are the mixture from the University of DAR ES SALAAM Lab and Wildlife Research Institute Lab located at KIHANSI.

CHARLES MSUYA says the KIHANSI Spray Toads have a long history and the reintroduction work as well as the research of their lives and enemies is not easy.

He also says all the stakeholders should dedicate their time in ensuring the safety of the toads, which the authorities discovered in the early 1990s and proved them different from others of their kind.

Mr MSUYA says the toads started dying following the construction of Lower KIHANSI Dam.

He says as they were flew to the UNITED STATES, the environmental experts discussed with the TANZANIA Electric Supply Company who agreed to release some water from the dam to help restore the conditions at the KIHANSI Gorge.

The FIRST batch of the toads returned to the country in 2011 when their reintroduction to the natural settings failed because the situation was not yet good for them.

Mr MSUYA says they then improved the infrastructure to make the environment more favourable.

The DAILY NEWS also quotes an assistant lecturer at the University of DAR ES SALAAM, NASSORO MOHAMMED who took the toads to KIHANSI from the labs, as saying the toads have arrived safely.

However, he says THREE out of the initial ONE-THOUSAND have died on the way, a development that is concerning the authorities; and they need to find out why this happened.

Nevertheless, an Environment Officer from the National Environmental Management Council HENRIC MWALONGO, says the reintroduction activity was successful and encouraging.

The government of TANZANIA is committed to ensure the toads are safe and are surviving, and it is talking with villages in IRINGA and MOROGORO regions bordering KIHANSI to avoid encroaching water sources./Sabanews/cam

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