For the entire month of May I have been dressed as an amphibian-like gothic fembot that represents the Chinese giant salamander in an effort to raise awareness and funds to prevent its extinction. The dress, designed by Luis Valenzuela, creator of EcoArtFashion, is made of completely environmentally fabrics in an effort to promote to the world the need to live as sustainably as possible in order to preserve our planet.

Every morning as I strap on my dress and feel how I can hardly breathe in the tight corset, I further feel for this critically endangered creature. Although they can breathe through their lungs (especially the wee ones), these salamanders breathe much more efficiently through their skin. Such is a huge problem when mining has polluted the waters they live in (Central, south-western, and southern China in the mountain stream tributaries of the Pearl, Yellow, and Yangtze Rivers) and severe deforestation has resulted in soil erosion causing increased runoff and siltation in streams. This reduces water quality and limits the uptake of oxygen through their skin…

Just from this, you can understand the damage wreaked on the environment is far from simply the Chinese giant salamander’s problemme.

But with a focus on this creature, why should we care? Other than the fact that it is the world’s largest living amphibian, it also considered a “living fossil”, having last diverged within the family Cryptobranchidae ~170 million years ago (yes, that’s during the Jurassic Period). This ancient creature greatly affects the gentle balance in the food chain with which it is a part of, enjoying delicacies of its rivers such as Aquatic insects, frogs, crabs, shrimp, and fish.

For more information about the Chinese Giant Salamander, view this video:

Together The Gabby Wild Foundation, Inc. 501(c)(3) in association with the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence are saving the Chinese giant salamander from extinction. To save the salamander, donate here:

The Gabby Wild Foundation, Inc. is a tax-deductible organization within the United States, for all those interested in how to save when it comes to filing taxes.

Stay Wild,

Gabby Wild