This species is restricted to twelve islands in the Amami and Okinawa island groups, in the Ryukyus, Japan.
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs on wet forest floors and in grassland, and breeds in pools and streams, where the larvae also develop.
Its population is decreasing. In a site in southern Okinawajima, the number of animals recorded in the breeding season has decreased by 75% in 15 years.
The major threat to the species is habitat degradation and loss, due mainly to clear-cutting and human settlement. Other threats include reclamation of ponds, and construction of artificial concrete ditches. The species is also in the pet trade in Japan and is used for medicinal purposes in Taiwan, Province of China. It has further been affected by the introduction of invasive fish species.
It probably occurs in some protected areas, but this requires confirmation. It is necessary to ensure that trade in this species is closely monitored and regulated.
Red List Status
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and in the number of mature individuals, in the Amami-Okinawa group.
Yoshio Kaneko, Masafumi Matsui 2004. Cynops ensicauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59441A11942003. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59441A11942003.en .Downloaded on 20 February 2019