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.
Inscribed on the front in pencil : ‘M. maximus’ and ‘M. sligoi’, the three figures of giant salamanders are shown in this drawing, two in side view and one seen from the ventral surface, the drawing has not been signed or dated so it is a bit of a mystery. It may have been prepared […]
Measuring over one meter in length, with bulging muscles and a giant grin across his face, ZSL London Zoo‘s newest arrival is already making a big impression. Professor Wu, a Chinese giant salamander, is the face of the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) new conservation project, established to help prevent these unique giants from becoming […]
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 […]