Afghanodon mustersi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Hynobiidae

Scientific Name: Afghanodon mustersi (Smith, 1940)
Batrachuperus mustersi Smith, 1940
Paradactylodon mustersi (Smith, 1940)
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Theodore Papenfuss, Steven Anderson, Sergius Kuzmin
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Area of Occupancy is less than 10km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the three tributaries of the Paghman stream drainage approximately 4km above the town of Paghman in the Hindu Kush of Kabul Province, Afghanistan. The stream is about 4km in length and is fed by melting glaciers; the mid-point in the stream is at 34° 36'N; 68° 55'E. The salamanders are found at an altitude of 2,440-3,750m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Although the species was previously reported to be common between 2,750 and 3,050m asl, it now appears to be uncommon in the lower elevations of this range. The population is estimated to contain 1,000-2,000 adults.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is fully aquatic and only occurs within cold fast-flowing waters of the Paghman stream drainage. In drier years animals are restricted to the more constant environments of the three tributary sources. Adults are found under flat rocks, crawling through submerged talus or feeding in the stream bed; larvae are usually found in deeper pools than the adults, out of the main flow of the current shaded by vegetation, or under beds of submerged vegetation. The eggs of this species are attached to the underside of rocks in the stream; between 15 and 25 eggs have been found in single egg cases, although the total number of cases deposited by females is not known. The vegetation surrounding the stream in which the salamanders occur is arid scrub without trees. This species is very sensitive to habitat disturbance.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is some evidence to suggest that there has been a constriction in range and a decline in population, probably caused by irrigated cultivation close to the streams thereby reducing stream flow. Additionally, grazing by livestock has removed stream edge vegetation causing an increase in temperature in the streams (high water temperature might be an important factor limiting their local distribution). The habitat is also impacted by the physical disturbance of pedestrian and livestock traffic in and along the stream. The impact of the recent war in Afghanistan on this species remains to be determined (S. Kuzmin pers. comm.). A potential threat is the damming of the stream to provide a water source for the city of Kabul (T. Pappenfuss pers. comm.)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not known to occur in any protected areas, this species will be a priority for survey work as soon as the situation in Afghanistan permits.

Considering the species' endemism, isolation and the number of threats it faces, P. mustersi was listed by the Afghan Government as a legally protected species in 2009.

Citation: Theodore Papenfuss, Steven Anderson, Sergius Kuzmin. 2004. Afghanodon mustersi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T2664A9465637. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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