The Emperor Newt was previously believed to be much more widespread. However, recently the species has been divided into six related species, Tylototriton verrucosus (the Emperor Newt, but with much smaller range than thought previously), T. himalayanus, T. panhai, T. podichthys, T. shanorum, and T. uyenoi.
Currently the Emperor Newt is known with certainty only from a mountainous area in Yunnan Province at the south of China.
Since similar habitat and elevations (1,500–1,600 m a.s.l.) extends into some adjacent areas, the actual range of the species may be larger and include some regions of northeastern Myanmar. However, further research is required to confirm the presence of the species in Myanmar.
The size and trends of the known population is also still unclear. Since both the loss of the habitat and the harvesting of the species for use in traditional medicine and international pet trade continues, the numbers are inferred to be decreasing.
■ Listed as Near Threatened (NT) in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
■ Listed in Appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, or Washington Convention).
■ Phylum Chordata – chordates
■ Class Amphibia – amphibians
■ Order Caudata – salamanders
■ Family Salamandridae – true salamanders and newts
■ Species Tylototriton verrucosus – Emperor Newt