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Ommatotriton ophryticus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA CAUDATA SALAMANDRIDAE

Scientific Name: Ommatotriton ophryticus
Species Authority: (Berthold, 1846)
Common Name/s:
English Northern Banded Newt
Taxonomic Notes: We follow Litvinchuk et al. (2005) in separating this species from Ommatotriton vittatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor/s: Kurtuluş Olgun, Jan Willem Arntzen, Sergius Kuzmin, Theodore Papenfuss, Ismail Ugurtas, David Tarkhnishvili, Max Sparreboom, Steven Anderson, Boris Tuniyev Natalia Ananjeva, Yakup Kaska, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Aziz Avci, Nazan Üzüm, Uğur Kaya
Reviewer/s: Neil Cox and Helen Temple
Justification:
This species is listed as Near Threatened globally because of the rapid declines in Caucasus populations due to predation from invasive raccoons and collection for the pet trade. In Turkey, populations are declining particularly in the eastern part of its range. Overall, declines are not occurring fast enough to qualify as threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from the western Caucasus in southern Russia and Georgia (in the mountain forest belt on the north-western and south-western slopes of the Main Caucasian Ridge), through northwestern Armenia and northern Turkey west to the Bosphorus Strait. It has been recorded from near sea level (Tabbaria Lake) up to around 2,750m asl (in Turkey)
Countries:
Native:
Armenia (Armenia); Georgia; Russian Federation; Turkey
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is sporadically distributed over much of its range, but is common in suitable habitats.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests (composed of birch, oaks, eastern hornbeams, alders, chestnuts, beach and rhododendrons) up to subalpine meadows. Reproduction occurs in lakes, ponds (including temporary pools), large puddles, drainage canals, roadside ditches in meadows, slow-flowing streams and stream pools in open areas near or within forests. The number of eggs varies between 50 and 100. It can occur in some slightly modified habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is sensitive to habitat loss. In the Western Caucasus, this species is threatened by predation from the introduced raccoon (Procyon lotor). In breeding ponds, the raccoon has been found to consume 50% of reproductive adults per year. Construction and building along the Black Sea coastline impacting the northern Turkish population. Over one-hundred dams are planned for the north-eastern part of its range in Turkey which would negatively impact the species. Within the Caucasus, habitat loss and fragmentation (through forest destruction, destruction of wetlands, overgrazing by cattle, urbanization, industrial and agrochemical pollution) are negatively impacting populations. In the Caucasus it is threatened by collection for the pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed in the Red Data Books of the USSR, Russia and Georgia. It is present in protected areas in Russia and Georgia, and was re-introduced in the Caucasian Nature Reserve. It is present in some protected areas in Turkey. Control of invasive raccoons is necessary to help stop the decline of this species.
Citation: Kurtuluş Olgun, Jan Willem Arntzen, Sergius Kuzmin, Theodore Papenfuss, Ismail Ugurtas, David Tarkhnishvili, Max Sparreboom, Steven Anderson, Boris Tuniyev Natalia Ananjeva, Yakup Kaska, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Aziz Avci, Nazan Üzüm, Uğur Kaya 2009. Ommatotriton ophryticus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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