Progress of the Nectophrynoides asperginis program
at University of Dar es Salaam


Nectophrynoides asperginis

Common Name(s)

Kihansi Spray Toad

Region where program is based

Sub-Saharan Africa

Country where program is based

Tanzania, United Republic of

The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

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

University of Dar es Salaam

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

Charles Msuya of University of Dar es Salaam

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?

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?

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).


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?



2016: In October 2012, 2000 Kihansi Spray toads were freely reintroduced in the Upper Spray Wetland (hard release). Succeeding reintroductions were carried out in the USW in March 2013 (1500 toads), February 2015 (1483 toads) and July 2016 (700 toads). Three cages were designed with the aim of controlling the area of dispersal of the released Kihansi Spray Toads and to minimize predation pressure. Two cages (Cage No.1 and Cage No.2) were constructed in the Upper Spray Wetland (USW) and Cage No.3 in the Lower Spray Wetland (LSW). Construction work started in early October 2016. Cages were designed to accommodate 1000 animals and allow researchers to walk inside. 2012: The considerable success of the breeding program of the KSTs in captivity both in the USA and Tanzania paved the way to eventual reintroduction of the toads in the wild a process which begun in October 2012 by reintroducing 2,433 toads, 2,000 at the Upper spray wetland (USW) and433 at Mhalala spray wetland (MSW) which are two of the five wetlands the Kihansi toad inhabited before its wild extinction. The re-introduction of the KST incorporated several pre-release scientific experiments including ex-situ pilot experiments that were conducted at UDSM and Kihansi captive breeding facilities. 2011: In Tanzania, captive breeding facility was established in August 2010, with 100 toads from the Toledo and Bronx Zoos in USA. The Kihansi captive breeding facility (KCBF) was established in June 2011.The second colony of 200 KSTs from USA arrived in February 2011 to top up the breeding colony brought in 2010 but this second batch was purposely for experimental purposes. The third batch of 500 toads came in May 2012 and was distributed to both facilities (UDSM and Kihansi) for captive breeding and was also for experimental purposes.