Home of the Chinese Giant Salamander Conservation Programme
The Chinese Giant Salamander
Endemic to China, the Chinese giant salamander (CGS hereafter) is the largest extant amphibian in the world. Part of the ancient Cryptobranchidae lineage dating back 170 million years, it earns the moniker “living fossil”. However, this species is Critically Endangered and is currently on the brink of extinction.
CGS is rapidly becoming extirpated from the wild as a result of habitat destruction, over-exploitation and a booming farming industry that has led to largely unregulated harvesting, and the potential spread of pathogens (e.g. ranavirus) from farmed to wild CGS. To save this species from extinction, a Conservation Programme has launched in China, initiated by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in collaboration with Chinese institutions and the government of China. The goal of this Conservation Programme is to build the evidence-base and capacity to underpin, promote and conduct a strategic conservation plan for the CGS within its native range in China.
Finding wild salamanders is not easy, especially if the populations are fragmented and have been heavily exploited. One way we can get information on current and historic salamander distribution, threats posed to salamanders and people’s perception of salamanders is to ask people who live in the surrounding area. At each site where we survey salamanders, the [...]
In May we held The International Conservation Planning Workshop for the Chinese Giant Salamander Conservation Breeding and Education Facility in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve (FNNR). FNNR was selected as the venue as it is the ideal location for a Chinese giant salamander (CGS) conservation breeding and education facility as the reserve was set up (in part) to [...]
In May this year we carried out more training in Chinese giant salamander field survey techniques. We were working just outside Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve and we had the fantastic fortune of capturing a wild Chinese giant salamander. This was a huge boost for the team. Not only were we able to demonstrate handling techniques but [...]