Progress of the Incilius cristatus program
at Africam Safari


Incilius cristatus

Common Name(s)

Large-crested Toad;Sapo Cresta Grande

Region where program is based


Country where program is based


The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

Conservation Needs Assessment Workshop

Has a genetic analysis been performed on wild populations to define the target taxon, i.e., verify that single, viable Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESU's) that are managed as separate populations, are not confounded by cryptic species or polymorphisms?


Name of the institution managing the ex situ population

Africam Safari

Year the program started


Is at least some portion of the captive population maintained in range country?


Are sufficient resources available to manage the ex situ population?


Are adequate numbers of skilled staff available with the appropriate ex situ amphibian experience?


Is sufficient space available for the required population size?


Additional Support required

Supplies for chytrid sampling in the wild population: swabs, tubes. We want to sample the wild population as well as other sympatric species for chytridiomicosis, so we would need supplies and financial support for the tests or someone who can run the tests for us. The project would benefit from field assistants for population monitoring and in situ research, however we still don't have enough funding to start that part of the project.

Has a Taxon Management Coordinator for the ex situ population been appointed?


Taxon Management Coordinator

José Alfredo Hernández Díaz of Africam Safari

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


Has a Taxon Management Plan, Recovery Plan or Species Action Statement been written?


Web link to Taxon Management Plan

Have Husbandry Guidelines been written?

In preparation

Web link to Husbandry Management Guidelines

Have any knowledge gaps in the species biology or in their interaction with potential threats been identified that could benefit from research using the ex situ population?


List of knowledge gaps

Adequate environmental conditions for egg and tadpole development. Tadpoles' diet. Interactions between adults that stimulate breeding (i.e. maleås vocalizations).

Have founder needs been calculated using the AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines ?


Have sufficient potential founders been collected? ( AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines recommends a minimum of 20 pairs of found animals).


If sufficient founders have not been collected, is there an ongoing search for additional founders?


Is the ex situ population managed by nationals from the range country?


What tools are used to maximize retention of genetic diversity?


Has the population produced viable offspring?


Have the first generation captive-bred animals bred successfully?


Is the ex situ population housed in permanent isolation from other populations occurring outside its range?


Is work being supported to study and mitigate threats to the species in the wild, either by the institution or by a regional wildlife agency?


Have captive-bred or captive-reared animals been released into the wild?


If releases were undertaken, have disease screening protocols or veterinary health checks been conducted prior to releases to the wild?

Is follow-up work being carried out to monitor progress of the released animals?


Is the taxon again secure in the wild, even if it might still require some ongoing in situ management? i.e. has the need for a captive assurance population been obviated such that we can call this a successfully terminated captive rescue program?



2018: An additional 170 toads released at the end of October 2017, making a total of over 670 animals released. Monitoring shows that captive-bred Large-crested Toads are able to adapt, survive and breed when released into the wild, with several previously-released animals recaptured. As of January 2013, there are only 5 of the original founder animals left. We just had the first generation of captive bred individuals. One pair laid 855 eggs on December 28th, 2012 and the eggs hatched on January 1st, 2013. We are currently rearing 814 tadpoles and we are planning to perform the first release of this species into the wild.
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