• The world’s largest amphibians, giant Chinese salamanders, were once thought to be widespread but now face imminent extinction due to illegal poaching and hunting as a luxury food
  • The overexploitation of these incredible animals for human consumption has had a catastrophic effect on their numbers in the wild over an amazingly short time span,
  • “Unless coordinated conservation measures are put in place as a matter of urgency, the future of the world’s largest amphibian is in serious jeopardy
  • Vast surveys were conducted in 2013 and 2016 at river sites where the critically endangered salamanders — the size of small alligators and weighing some 64 kg — are known to live.
  • China has a programme in place to breed and release giant salamanders back into the wild.
  • At the few sites where salamanders were seen, researchers could not confirm whether they were wild or farmed.
  • The status of wild populations may be even worse than our data suggest.
  • Conservation strategies for the salamander require urgent updating