Movement patterns and population structure of Andrias japonicus, Japanese Giant Salamander, in the Tsuchiya River, Tottori Prefecture.

Principal Investigator: Sumio Okada, Shimane University, Matsue, Japan.

In this study, radiotelemetry is used to evaluate characteristics of movements of the Japanese Giant Salamander to understand population structure . Of particular interest are movements between distinct sections of riverine habitat in the study area. It is hypothesized that inter-section movements are largely restricted to specific groups within the population, and are influenced by breeding behavior and population density. In testing this hypothesis we will gather crucial baseline data on movement patterns, breeding behavior and population structure of this species in its natural habitat. The habitat of this rare salamander is increasingly fragmented by dams, effectively separating many populations. Data collected on movement patterns and population dynamics, especially those that occur between river sections, will aid in developing conservation strategies by highlighting critical groups within populations and defining demographic units relevant to effective management .

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