Pairi Daiza Foundation


Giant Salamander

La Salamandre géante - Pairi Daiza
In danger of extinction

Lurks on the bottom, under the water

The Chinese Giant Salamander is, together with the species of Japan and North America, the largest amphibian in the world : its size is about one metre but, in the past, there used to be specimens measuring up to 1m80. It has a brownish skin with dark spots, covered with viscous mucus : this skin plays a crucial role in the oxygenation of this salamander, which has hardly any gills and whose lungs are fairly inefficient : it therefore breathes mainly by its skin and, to increase its surface, it has folds along its sides.

The Giant Salamander lives in the running water of rivers and streams, as well as in the fresh water lakes and marshes of most of continental China. Exclusively aquatic, it lies flat at the bottom of the water, waiting for its prey : it eats shellfish, small fish, and frogs passing within reach by literally sucking them into its wide mouth. The female lays long ribbons of hundreds of eggs which the male takes away to fertilise in a hole, thereafter taking care of its offspring until it hatches.

Excessively hunted for its flesh, the species is in critical danger of extinction.

In Pairi Daiza

Will you spot our two giant salamanders?

The giant salamanders in Pairi Daiza live in the “Garden of the Middle”, Pairi Daiza’s Chinese garden. Will you be able to flush out the giant salamanders lurking on the bottom, under the water?

La Salamandre géante - Pairi Daiza
Identification profile

A "critically endangered” species

  • Name: Giant salamander
  • Latin name: Andrias davidianus
  • Origin: China
  • IUCN status: Critically endangered
  • Cites: Appendix I


The giant salamander is an exceptional animal and it is an honour for me, and for the rest of Pairi Daiza teams, to play a part in protecting this critically endangered species!

Sponsor the giant salamanders

Sponsorship amounts are exclusively for the Pairi Daiza Foundation for projects for the conservation and protection of threatened species.

Je parraine les Salamandres géantes