Sword-tailed newt – Endangered species

The Sword-tailed newt (Cynops ensicauda) is an endangered species found on the main islands of Okinawa an Amami. It is currently listed endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species. This amphibian is decreasing in numbers due to deforestation and road kill.

  • Scientific name: Cynops ensicauda
  • Distribution: Okinawa and Anami Islands
  • Habitat: Forests, wetlands and fresh water streams
  • Diet: Amphibian eggs, tadpoles, snails, worms and insects
  • Average size: 100-180mm
Sword tailed newt with stripes

Sword tailed newt with stripes

They all have bright orange bellies, which serve as a warning sign to predators that they are poisonous. When threatened they produce a transparent skin toxin.

  •  Poisonous animals are toxic if you eat them or ingest their secretions.  Irritations may occur after handling these newts if you have open wounds. Avoid rubbing your eyes or placing your hands in your mouth.

Photographed on a white field studio board for the Meet your neighbours global biodiversity project (MYN).  All images are used for conservation awareness and educational purposes.

MYN technique - Sword tailed newt

MYN technique – Sword tailed newt

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Sword-tailed newt- Okinawa, Japan

The newt photographed in its natural habitat.

Sword-tailed newt in natural habitat

Sword-tailed newt in natural habitat

Sword tailed newt

Sword tailed newt -Onna village

Sword tailed newt

Sword tailed newt – Onna village


An average looking sword-tailed newt with a blood sucking leech

Sword-tailed newt with leech

Sword-tailed newt with leech

The Sword- tailed newt is often found crossing the road on rainy days in northern Okinawa. The government has designed specialized wildlife steps for animals that get trapped in road side drainage ditches. These steps allow the newts to crawl out safely.

Wildlife steps

Wildlife steps

Lets protect the wildlife of Okinawa!

 

 

 

 

Anderson’s Crocodile Newt- Endangered species

Anderson’s crocodile newt is an endangered species found throughout the Ryukyu islands. It is designated as a living natural monument in Okinawa and is currently listed endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species. This amphibian is decreasing in numbers due to poaching and deforestation. The newt is high valued in the illegal pet trade market and needs to protected. This is my favorite amphibian to photograph on my night adventures in Okinawa.

  • Scientific name: Echinotriton andersoni
  • Distribution:  Ryukyu Islands
  • Habitat:  Forests and wetlands
  • Diet:  Worms and snails
  • Average Size:  120mm -160mm

Photographed on white for the Meet your neighbours global biodiversity project. All images are used for conservation awareness and educational purposes.

Anderson's crocodile newt

Anderson’s crocodile newt -MYN

Anderson’s crocodile newt in its natural habitat feeding on a earthworm.

Feeding ,Yanbaru forest

Feeding ,Yanbaru forest

Late in the evening the newts meet up and search for a mate.

Finding a mate

Finding a mate, Onna Village

The aquatic stage of the newt has external gills. It slowly prepares itself for the transition into the terrestrial juvenile stage. They can be found in mud puddles in the months of May and June.

Aquatic stage

Aquatic stage -external gills

Watch your speed and pay close attention to crossing wildlife.

Watch out for crossing newts

Watch out for crossing newts

All the roads in northern Okinawa have specialized wildlife steps for the the animals that get trapped in the drainage ditch. These steps allow the newts and other animals to crawl out safely.

Wildlife steps

Wildlife steps

Let’s protect the animals of Okinawa!

Have a great day!