Despite its “giant” status, this salamander is now critically endangered due to over-harvesting for human consumption, as well as habitat loss and water pollution. This led to thousands of Chinese giant salamander farms cropping up around the country—and some salamanders sell for more than $1,500 each!
Are giant salamanders endangered?
Critically Endangered (Population decreasing) Chinese giant salamander/Conservation status
When did the Chinese giant salamander become endangered?
In the past, the Chinese giant salamander was fairly common and widespread in China. Since the 1950s, the population has declined rapidly due to habitat destruction and overhunting. It has been listed as Critically Endangered in the Chinese Red Book of Amphibians and Reptiles.
Why is the Chinese giant salamander important?
The worlds largest surviving amphibian species, reaching a maximum length of 1.8 m and a weight of 50 kg. It is the top endemic predator feeding on insects, frogs and fish. The species is culturally significant; legend has it that the Yin and Yang symbol is based on a black and a white Chinese giant salamander.
Why are salamanders illegal in California?
Here in California, tiger salamanders and axolotls (both genus Ambystoma) are illegal, as we have a local tiger subspecies that is both endangered and subject to interbreeding with other subspecies, thus mucking up its unique gene pool.
Can you eat a Japanese salamander?
Despite its status as an endangered species, it is still regarded a delicacy among Chinas super rich. The salamander population has declined drastically over the last 30 years due to poaching and destruction of its habitat. Despite its status as an endangered species, the amphibian is still regarded a delicacy.