Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Vipera dinniki
Species Authority: Nikolsky, 1913
Common Name(s):
English Caucasus Subalpine Viper, Dinnik's Viper
French Viper de Dinnik
Vipera berus dinniki Nikolsky, 1913
Vipera kaznakovi Nikolsky, 1909
Vipera kaznakowi orientalis Vedmederja, 1984
Vipera tigrina Tzarevsky, 1916
Vipera ursini renardi : Kramer, 1961 (partim)
Taxonomic Notes: This species is within the subgenus Pelias (Nilson et al. 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Boris Tuniyev, Goren Nilson, Aram Agasyan, Nikolai Orlov, and Sako Tuniyev
Reviewer(s): Neil Cox and Helen Temple
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline due to persecution, overcollecting and overgrazing of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Rare (R)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Caucasus, where it has been recorded in south Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The distribution range of the species is covers the Great Caucasus in Russia, Abkhazia, Georgia and, apparently, of Azerbaijan. It is found on the northern and southern slopes of the Great Caucasus from Fisht-Oshten massif in the west up to the eastern Georgia and north-western Azerbaijan (Lagodekhi and Zakatali Reservations) in the east. The continuous distribution range stretches eastwards up to the Bol'shaya Laba River, further a chain of isolated populations is known from Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, northern and eastern Georgia. It ranges between 1,500 and 2,800m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The western populations (1500-2400masl) are quite common, however the eastern populations (2200-2800masl) are very fragmented.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits the upper-forest zone, stream borders, shrub forests, subalpine and alpine meadows, rocky scree, talus slopes and montane moraines. Animals emerge after hibernation from the middle of April to the beginning of June, with males emerging early. The period of reproduction occurs in the end of April - May, with the young appearing in August - September. The female gives birth to between 3 and 7 young. Animals begin hibernation from September - beginning of October.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by the degradation of its subalpine pasture habitats by intensive overgrazing by cattle. In areas of tourism this snake (and other vipers) is often killed. The species is additionally overcollected for the pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species was included into the Red Data Books of USSR (1984) and Georgia (1982). At present, it is included in the Red Data Book of Russian Federation (2001) with the status and category 2 (as an endemic of high mountains of Great Caucasus). Populations occur in the Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve, Sochi National Park, Ineritza Relict National Park, Lagodejia Reserve, Tebergin Biosphere Reserve, Nozacetian State Reserve, Kobaljini High Mount. Reserve, Preelbrusia Mountain National Park, and in several additional lower level protected areas.

Citation: Boris Tuniyev, Goren Nilson, Aram Agasyan, Nikolai Orlov, and Sako Tuniyev. 2009. Vipera dinniki. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T23001A9407314. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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