Andrias japonicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Cryptobranchidae

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

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Yoshio Kaneko, Masafumi Matsui
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

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

Population [top]

Population:It is an uncommon species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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.

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.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Andrias davidianus ]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Environment Agency. 2000. Threatened Wildlife of Japan - Red Data Book, 2nd Edition: Reptilia/Amphibia. Japan Wildlife Research Center, Tokyo.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

Matsui, M. 2000. Japanese giant salamander. In: Environment Agency (ed.), Threatened Wildlife of Japan - Red Data Book, 2nd Edition: Reptilia/Amphibia, Japan Wildlife Research Center, Tokyo.

Sengoku, S., Hikida, T., Matsui, M. and Nakaya, K. 1996. The Encyclopedia of Animals in Japan. Volume 5. Amphibians, Reptiles, Chondrichthyes. Heibonsha Limited, Tokyo.

Zippel, K. 2005. Zoos play a vital role in amphibian conservation. 26 July 2005.

Citation: Yoshio Kaneko, Masafumi Matsui. 2004. Andrias japonicus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T1273A3376261. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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