A team of Chinese scientists has discovered a new species of Chinese giant salamander (CGS) at a nature reserve in east China's Jiangxi Province.
Named Andrias jiangxiensis, it is the only known species of CGS in China with a genetically pure, reproducing, in situ population, according to the team led by Che Jing, a researcher with the Kunming Institute of Zoology, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
A paper on the find has been published in the academic journal Zoological Research.
The research was jointly undertaken by the Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Jiangxi Academy of Sciences, the Jiangxi Jiulingshan National Nature Reserve and other institutions.
During 18 months of field monitoring, researchers documented over 700 juveniles, adults and larvae of the species, said Peng Yong, head of a protection station at the Jiangxi Jiulingshan National Nature Reserve.
With a body length of up to about 2 meters, the CGS -- commonly known as "wawayu" in China -- is the world's largest living amphibian. It is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and is under second-class state protection in China.