Volume 43 Issue 3
May  2022
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Article Contents
Jing Chai, Chen-Qi Lu, Mu-Rong Yi, Nian-Hua Dai, Xiao-Dong Weng, Ming-Xiao Di, Yong Peng, Yong Tang, Qing-Hua Shan, Kai Wang, Huan-Zhang Liu, Hai-Peng Zhao, Jie-Qiong Jin, Ru-Jun Cao, Ping Lu, Lai-Chun Luo, Robert W. Murphy, Ya-Ping Zhang, Jing Che. Discovery of a wild, genetically pure Chinese giant salamander creates new conservation opportunities. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(3): 469-480. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.101
Citation: Jing Chai, Chen-Qi Lu, Mu-Rong Yi, Nian-Hua Dai, Xiao-Dong Weng, Ming-Xiao Di, Yong Peng, Yong Tang, Qing-Hua Shan, Kai Wang, Huan-Zhang Liu, Hai-Peng Zhao, Jie-Qiong Jin, Ru-Jun Cao, Ping Lu, Lai-Chun Luo, Robert W. Murphy, Ya-Ping Zhang, Jing Che. Discovery of a wild, genetically pure Chinese giant salamander creates new conservation opportunities. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(3): 469-480. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.101

Discovery of a wild, genetically pure Chinese giant salamander creates new conservation opportunities

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.101
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This work was equally supported by the STS Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB31000000). The Animal Branch of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Large Research Infrastructure Funding), and Jiangxi Academy of Sciences (2021YSBG50008) partially supported it
More Information
  • Effective conservation of threatened biota relies on accurate assessments and scientific guidance. As an unfortunate example, Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias, CGS) remain critically endangered in nature. Misguided conservation efforts, e.g., commercial propagation and releasing of millions of likely non-indigenous or interspecific hybrids, have further compromised conservation initiatives. Limited information on wild populations of CGS poses a significant conservation challenge. Following 18-month long field monitoring, we now report the discovery of a wild population of CGS in a closed nature reserve in Jiangxi Province, China. Genomic assessments reveal its genetic distinctiveness and do not detect genetic admixture with other species. Based on morphological and molecular evidences, we describe this CGS as a new species Andrias jiangxiensis sp. nov. This is the only known species of CGS today with a genetically pure, reproducing, in situ population. This discovery emphasizes the important role that closed nature reserves play in protecting species, and the necessity of integrating long-term field monitoring and genetic assessments. It sets a new pathway for discovering and conserving endangered species, especially for those biotas that are similarly being extirpated by anthropogenic translocations and overexploitation.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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