Cynops ensicauda
Sword-tailed Newt, Shiriken Imori
Subgenus: Cynops
family: Salamandridae
subfamily: Pleurodelinae

© 2017 Henk Wallays (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

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.

Population Trend


Major Threats

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.

Conservation Actions

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

Endangered (EN)


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. .Downloaded on 20 February 2019


IUCN Terms of Use