Yesterday we were reminded of the risk to biological diversity from the trade of non-native species. Today we highlight the continuing threat to one of Vietnam’s endemic creatures. The fascinating Tam Dao salamander (Paramesotriton deloustali) is found only in Vietnam, but is now on the verge of extinction due to poaching for use in medicine and pet trade.
Photo courtesy of Phung My Trung
Although they are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book and protected under Vietnamese law, Tam Dao salamanders are openly sold to foreign tourists and Vietnamese people at appallingly low prices (between US$2.50 and $10) to be kept as pets or to immerse in wine as a kind of tonic. Consequently, the Tam Dao salamander population is decreasing rapidly.
As a precious endemic species, the Tam Dao salamander deserves to be strictly protected by both Vietnam’s government and its citizens. The society must share this responsibility to ensure that our children can observe and appreciate this amphibian in the years to come…
Watch these amazing amphibians in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gPhWQBLAkSo