This species is known from Russia, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Japan. It is found in the Russian Far East (including East Siberia) northwards to the Amur River valley; most of central, southeastern and northeastern China, throughout the Korean Peninsula and on Miyakojima and adjacent islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago of Japan. The subspecies, Bufo gargarizans miyakonis is endemic to Japan. It was originally distributed on Miyakojima and its adjacent islands, and was introduced to other islands in Ryukyu Archipelago including Okinawajima, Minami Daitojima and Kita Daitojima. In Okinawajima, Bufo gargarizans miyakonis have been captured since the early 1990's and it is now possibly eradicated. The altitudinal range of this species is from 20-800m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
The main habitats of this species are coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests (and their glades), grasslands and meadows. It is also present in flood lands and river valleys. Although the species prefers habitats with high humidity, it is rare in very shaded or saturated coniferous forests. Breeding and larval development takes place in rivers, streams, ponds and pools. The species is generally tolerant of habitat modification and may be found in cultivated areas, villages and even parks and gardens in large cities (e.g. Khabarovsk, Russia).
This species is very common in China and in the Primorye and Khabarovsk regions of Russia; it is however, rare in both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. In Japan the population is decreasing (especially on Miyakojima) but is not in significant decline.
Localized threats to this species include a general loss of suitable habitat through increasing urbanization and water pollution, mortality on roads and prolonged drought. The species is also captured for laboratory research, and has been gathered for traditional medicine by Chinese and Korean citizens in the Primorye Region of Russia over the last 10 years. In Okinawajima in Japan, the species has been captured since the early 1990's and is now possibly eradicated.
This species occurs in many protected areas in both China and Russia. The possible eradication of the species on Okinawajima in Japan needs confirmation, with surveys are needed for several years.
Further taxonomic research is needed as this might be a complex of three species.
Sergius Kuzmin, Wang Yuezhao, Masafumi Matsui, Yoshio Kaneko, Irina Maslova 2004. Bufo gargarizans. In: IUCN 2014