Progress of the Xenopus longipes program
at EAZA institutions

NB: Program has finished

Program Finished:



Ex situ research completed


Xenopus longipes

Common Name(s)

Lake Oku Clawed Frog

Region where program is based


Country where program is based


The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

Antwerp Zoo

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

EAZA institutions

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

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


Taxon Management Coordinator

Benjamin Tapley of Zoological Society of London

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


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


Have Husbandry Guidelines been written?


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

Reproductive triggers are currently unknown..

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?



This programme was originally established as a rescue programme but as stock was not managed in total isolation from cosmopolitan amphibian collections it was downgraded to a research population. The original taxon management plan is therefore no longer applicable to the way the population is currently managed and the primary institution no longer maintains this species (all individuals transferred to ZSL London Zoo) The following goals from the original plan have been achieved • Develop educational exhibits. • Conduct a research program. The following original research objectives have been achieved • Develop and refine husbandry techniques. • Develop and refine techniques for unassisted spawning. • Develop and refine techniques for hormonal assisted spawning. • Show fecundity and reproductive strategies. Whilst the founder needs were calculated using the AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines there was a difficulty in obtaining the required number of male individuals and more male founding stock was imported to ZSL in 2012 (still insufficient to meet the suggested 20.20) Whilst other organisations were initially involved in the ex situ programme the only populations that are currently managed are housed at ZSL London Zoo and Steinhart Aquarium. We do wish to manage the ex situ population to a higher standard and this requires identification of individuals. VIE marking and alpha numeric tags have been tried and tested at ZSL but not deemed appropriate for marking individuals in the long term. We are currently running a project using Wild ID to identify individual markings. If this method is viable we will then consider proposing this species for EEP management under EAZA with the aim of disseminating individuals to other collections. The population of Xenopus longipes is stable in the wild although there are ongoing discussions regarding the establishment of a safety net population on Mount Oku itself. For the time being the importation of fresh founding stock is not justifiable give that the goal of the programme has changed dramatically since it was established.
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