It is a professional research institute of the Japanese Giant Salamander and represents a generic name for a collection of facilities for research, environmental education, community exchange as well as a museum. “Hanzaki” was once the standard Japanese name for the Japanese Giant Salamander and “Ankou” is a local name in this area. The common name in Japanese is now Ōsanshōuo (オオサンショウウオ).
*Please be noted that the institute is not open to the public. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you could like to visit the institute. We strive to respond to your email within 72 hours. However, we are understaffed and would appreciate your understanding in case that we were not able to respond in a timely manner.
Mr. Takeyoshi Tochimoto, former director of the NPO Hanzaki Research Institute of Japan, passed away on May 28, 2019, at 13:22 pm. On behalf of the deceased, we would like to thank all of you for supporting the institute for many years.
Because of the fever of an unknown cause that started in May 2019, he became weak for a long period and eventually returned to Himeji for hospitalization.
We regret deeply for his death especially because we were informed that he was able to take meals little by little and was recovering.
Please understand that the funeral was held only by the family, and they decline condolatory calls and flowers.
We sincerely pray that Mr. Tochimoto’s soul may rest in peace.
We look forward to your continued support and cooperation.
Sumio Okada, PhD
Director of the NPO Hanzaki Institute of Japan
Dr. Sumio Okada succeeded the directorship of the institute from Mr. Tochimoto in 2017 who was active as an honorary president until his death. Now the institute made a new start under Dr. Okada’s directorship. Dr. Okada is the world’s leading authority on Japanese giant salamanders with 20+ years of experience with this species. His research currently focuses on parental care behaviors, breeding ecology, population assessment, and human impacts. He has published extensively and appeared on numerous nature documentaries.
We are excited to announce that we are the host for the next Annual Conference. The past conferences have been domestic and targeted only Japanese participants. In 2020, we are making the conference international and inviting not only Japanese but also international participants. Please be noted that it is an invitation-only conference. If you are a member of CIG (Cryptobranchid Interest Group), you will receive an invitation. If you are not a CIG member but are involved in amphibian conservation research/education, please contact us for the details of the conference.
Whereas we work with the Prefectural and the local governments for outsourcing population surveys, we actively seek grants from private companies and organizations for our own research summarized below.
Our main research project is to monitor the giant salamander population in Ichikawa River. We regularly wade through the river at night, find giant salamanders, and take various measurements. To date, we identified over 1700 individuals and most of them are identified with microchips. By comparing data and measurements over time, we are working to resolve mysteries behind the life cycle of the Japanese Giant Salamander such as longevity and growth rate.
Dr. Mizuki Takahashi’s lab at Bucknell University and we are assessing populations in small un-surveyed tributaries using the environmental DNA method. We currently know little about the importance of those small streams (1 to 3 order streams) to the cycle history of giant salamanders. Despite the small size, those streams may provide important habitats for larval and juvenile giant salamanders. Dr. Takahashi led a summer research program with three Bucknell Students during the summer of 2018. They stayed at the Institute for about a month, conducted the eDNA research, and interacted with the locals including students from Ikuno High School.
Dr. Kumi Matsui’s lab at Azabu University and we are assessing breeding status of salamanders by analyzing reproductive hormones in blood samples and using a portable ultrasound device. Dr. Matsui’s lab visits the institute throughout the year and monitor how reproductive organs and hormones change in response to their breeding activity.
Students from the local Ikuno High School and we just started monitoring of the giant salamander population in front of the Ikuno High School located in Ikuno Town. It is our mission to engage our community members in conservation and promote environmental education among the young. We are developing a long-term collaborative relationship with the high school.
We are actively seeking collaborators to promote research and conservation of Japanese Giant Salamanders. Please contact us if you are interested.
We sincerely thank to the following organizations and individuals for their generous supports. We are a non-profitable organization that solely depends on memberships, grants, and donations for the management of the institute. In particular, donations enable us to continue and expand our research. We would greatly appreciate your support.
- Laura Debner
Curator of Reptiles/Amphibians and Children's Zoo/ Conservation Chair
- Danté Fenolio, PhD
Vice President of Conservation and Research
- Paul Buzzard, PhD
Field Conservation Officer
- Ruth Marcec, DVM, PhD
Director of the National Amphibian Conservation Center
If you are able to support us, please contact us at email@example.com. If you prefer sending us donation directly, here’s the information.
SHINKIN CENTRAL BANK
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8-1 KYOBASHI 3-CHOME CHUO-KU TOKYO JAPAN
1696 - 001 - 5085835
ACCOUNT WITH BANK
THE TANYO SHINKIN BANK,IKUNO BRANCH
NPOhojin Nihonhanzakikenkyusho rijicho Okada Sumio
292 KUROKAWA IKUNO-CHO ASAGO-SHI HYOGO JAPAN
“Development of Best Management Practices Conservation Guide for Giant
Cryptobranchus Interest Group “Ron Goellner Grant”. 2020.
In 2021, we officially established Research Unit. Please see the aim, qualification, and the researchers of our Research Unit as follows.
In order to achieve the aim of the Hanzaki Research Institute, which is
conservation and restoration of the giant salamander and its natural
environment, it is vital to work with partners who can engage in long-term
research. For this reason, the Hanzaki Research Institute welcomes
researchers who can devote themselves to research with enthusiasm, and will
provide research funds as needed within the budget. Researchers are obliged
to return their research results to society by submitting annual reports,
presenting research findings at domestic and international conferences.
Those who, regardless of nationality, has a doctoral degree or are enrolled
in a doctoral program who can engage in research on the giant salamander,
other local wildlife, and their natural environment in cooperation with the
Hanzaki Institute. Those who have not obtained a doctoral degree or who are
not enrolled in a doctoral program may be qualified to be as an Hanzaki
institute researcher based on a recommendation by the president and vice
Ph.D., United Graduate School of Agriculture Sciences at Tottori University
My research interests are the ecology and conservation biology of the Japanese giant salamander, especially, larval life history, paternal care behaviors, population dynamics, and the impact of human activities with long-term monitoring.
Tapley, B., ST Turvey, S Chen, F Xie, J Yang, Z Liang, H Tian, M Wu, S Okada, J Wang, J Lü, F Zhou, J Xu, H Zhao, J Redbond, T Brown and AA Cunningham. 2021. Range-wide decline of Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. from suitable habitat. Oryx 2021:1-9.
Bjordahl, B., S Okada and MK Takahashi. 2020. Assessment of small tributaries as possible habitats for larvae and juveniles of Japanese giant salamanders, Andrias japonicus, by coupling environmental DNA with traditional field surveys. Salamandra 56: 148-158.
Turvey, ST., S Chen, B Tapley, G Wei, F Xie, F Yan, J Yang, Z Liang, H Tian, M Wu, S Okada, J Wang, J Lü, F Zhou, SK Papworth, J Redbond, T Brown, J Che and AA Cunningham. 2018.
Imminent extinction in the wild of the world’s largest amphibian. Current Biology 28: R592-R594.
Takahashi, M.K., S Okada and Y Fukuda. 2017. From embryos to larvae: seven-month-long paternal care by male Japanese giant salamander. Journal of Zoology 302: 24-31.
Okada, S., Y. Fukuda, and M.K. Takahashi. 2015. Parental care behaviors of Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus in natural populations. Journal of Ethology 33:1-7. (Editor's Choice 2015 Article)
Tapley,B., S Okada, J Redbond, ST Turvey, S Chen, J Lü, G Wei, M Wu, Y Pan, K Niu and AA Cunningham. 2015. Failure to detect the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province, China. Salamandra 51: 206-208.
Okada, S., T Utsunomiya, T Okada, ZI Felix and F Ito. 2008. Characteristics of Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) populations in two small tributary streams, in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Honshu, Japan. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 3: 192-202.
Okada, S., T Usunomiya, T Okada and ZI Felix. 2006. Radio Transmitter attachment by suturing for the Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus). Herpetological Review 37:431-434.
· Ph.D., The University of Memphis
· M.S., Marshall University
· M.S., The University of Tokyo
· B.S., The University of Tsukuba
My research interests broadly rest on ecology, ethology and conservation of amphibians. Using various research tools such as aquatic mesocosms, behavioral assays, and molecular analyses, our current projects focus on: 1) Interspecific interactions between wood frogs and spotted salamanders, 2) Effects of road salt pollution on an aquatic community, 3) Parental care behaviors of Japanese giant
Bjordahl, B, S Okada and MK Takahashi. 2020. Assessment of small tributaries as possible habitats for larvae and juveniles of Japanese giant salamanders, Andrias japonicus, by coupling environmental DNA with traditional field surveys. Salamandra 56: 148-158Terry, J, Y Taguchi, J Dixon, K Kuwabara, and MK Takahashi. 2019. Preoviposition paternal investment by nest cleaning in a fully aquatic giant salamander. Journal of Zoology 307: 36-42
Takahashi, M.K., M.J. Meyer, C. McPhee, J.R. Gaston, M.D. Venesky, and B.F. Case. 2018. Seasonal and diel signature of eastern hellbender environmental DNA. Journal of Wildlife Management 82: 217-22
Takahashi, M.K., S Okada and Y Fukuda. 2017. From embryos to larvae: seven-month-long paternal care by male Japanese giant salamander. Journal of Zoology 302: 24-31
Okada, S., Y. Fukuda, and M.K. Takahashi. 2015. Parental care behaviors of Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus in natural populations. Journal of Ethology 33:1-7 (Editor's Choice 2015 Article)
(Bucknell Takahashi lab website)：https://sites.google.com/bucknell.edu/takahashi-lab/home
· M.S., The University of Shimane
· B.S., The University of Shimane
Since my retirement, I started studying Chinese and Japanese classic literature and found it interesting to see how such classic literature provides the foundation for modern society and culture. With this background, I am interested in histories and folklores surrounding giant salamanders.
Ph.D., The University of Tokyo
M.S., The University of Tokyo
B.S., Tokyo Gakugei University
Salamander, dispersal, landscape genetics, local adaptation, metapopulation dynamics, conservation ecology.
I seek to understand the survival strategies of salamanders from the perspective of dispersal and local adaptation. Especially, I am interested in how dispersal and local adaptation contribute to the maintenance of metapopulations. Ultimately, I would like to apply these pieces of knowledge to the management and conservation of salamanders.
Takagi, K. and Miyashita, T. 2019 “Larval Prey Preference of Pond-breeding salamander Hynobius tokyoensis Living in a Stream” Current Herpetology in East Asia. Herpetological Society of Japan, Kyoto
“Salamander population persistence from a spatially explicit cross-ecosystem perspective” The 9th World Congress of herpetology, Dunedin, New Zealand,（2020/1）
“Salamander population persistence from a spatially explicit cross-ecosystem perspective” The Annual meeting of The Ecological Society of Japan, Kobe International Conference Center, Kobe, Japan,（2019/3）
· M.S., Kyoto University
· B.S., Kyoto University
I have been interested in ethological and evolutionary research on reptiles and amphibians. My main interests are food habits, prey recognition, and the foraging behavior of pit vipers. I usually conduct lab experiments under controlled conditions using various methods, but I also put great emphasis on basic observations in the field. I have participated in surveys on diverse herptiles including giant salamanders over 10 years.
Hamanaka, K., H. Akimoto, A. Otake, K. Yamamoto, and K. Nishikawa. 2020. Andrias japonicus. Diet. Herpetological Review 51: 347.