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Andrias japonicus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA CAUDATA CRYPTOBRANCHIDAE

Scientific Name: Andrias japonicus
Species Authority: (Temminck, 1836)
Common Name/s:
English Japanese Giant Salamander
Synonym/s:
Triton japonicus Temminck, 1836

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor/s: Yoshio Kaneko, Masafumi Matsui
Reviewer/s: Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened since the species depends on streams in forest, and so its Area of Occupancy is probably not much greater than 2,000 km2, and the extent and quality of its habitat is declining, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Japan and is distributed in western Honshu, Shikoku and Kyusyu.
Countries:
Native:
Japan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is an uncommon species.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It lives and breeds in small to large rivers, preferring clear water, usually in forested areas. It has occasionally been found in rivers in urban areas. The adults can tolerate a wide variety of habitats, but are not necessarily able to breed in these habitats. Females lay their eggs in a string underwater and the larvae then develop in the streams. It is estimated to take at least five years for the young to reach maturity.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by dam construction, the construction of artificial concrete riverbanks, and the alteration of river courses. Suitable habitats are therefore becoming increasingly fragmented. It might also be facing competition from the introduced Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus). Genetic uniformity in this species is high, which increases its vulnerability to threatening processes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been designated as a special natural monument in Japan and is totally protected, and its habitats are protected in some areas. Asa Zoo has been breeding this species in captivity since 1979 (although no re-introductions have been performed), and it also rescues individuals from degraded habitats. It is listed on CITES Appendix I.
Citation: Yoshio Kaneko, Masafumi Matsui 2004. Andrias japonicus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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