Development of the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus farming industry in Shaanxi Province, China: conservation threats and opportunities
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The Chinese giant salamander is Critically Endangered, largely because of overexploitation for food. This species is an expensive delicacy in China, and a rapidly growing industry to farm the species has developed throughout much of the country, centred on the Qinling Mountain region of Shaanxi Province. Salamander farming is an important economic activity in China, figures from 2011 show that farms in Shaanxi province house 2.6 million salamanders. Farms vary in size, some people maintain and rear a few salamanders in their small holdings. Other farms are more industrial in scale and may house many thousands of individuals. A series of investigations were undertaken in order to understand the industry better . Our results indicate that although farming of Chinese giant salamanders has the potential to be a positive development for conservation by supplying market demand with farmed animals, it is currently more likely to threaten than support conservation of the species, with continued overexploitation and the potential added impacts of infectious disease and genetic pollution arising from farming practices such as movement of animals across the country and the release of untreated farm wastewater and farmed salamanders to the wild.
You can read our recent publication here Development of the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus farming industry in Shaanxi Province, China: conservation threats and opportunities
You can read more about the threat that the farming industry poses to giant salamanders here http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext…