Iranodon gorganensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Hynobiidae

Scientific Name: Iranodon gorganensis
Species Authority: (Clergue-Gazeau & Thorn, 1979)
Batrachuperus gorganensis Clergue-Gazeau & Thorn, 1979
Paradactylodon gorganensis (Clergue-Gazeau &Thorn, 1979)
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).
Taxonomic Notes: Some workers have suggested that Paradactylodon gorganensis might be conspecific with P. persicus (Stöck 1999). However, recent molecular analysis has demonstrated that Paradactylodon gorganensis is a distinct species (Ted Papenfuss pers. comm. September 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Theodore Papenfuss, Steven Anderson, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Sergius Kuzmin, Mozafar Sharifi, Göran Nilson
Reviewer(s): Neil Cox and Helen Temple
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2 and 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 in the Shir-Abad Cave, northern Iran.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Shir-Abad Cave and the stream flowing from it, 60km east of Gorgan (36° 57'N; 55° 01'E), in the eastern part of the Elburz Mountains, Golestan Province, northern Iran. The cave is at an elevation of 310m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Lower elevation limit (metres): 310
Upper elevation limit (metres): 310
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are estimated to be about 100 breeding adults within its extremely localized range.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is an almost fully aquatic species. The adults are only known from a single pool in the cave that measures 100m by 10m at its widest point. The larvae of the species are only found outside the cave in the stream flowing from it. Its breeding biology is not well known, but eggs are deposited by the female and fertilized by the male. The forest surrounding the cave and stream is a temperate Hyrcanian forest.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The Shir-Abad Cave is now significantly impacted by the activities of people visiting the cave (N. Rastegar-Pouyani pers. comm.). However, the forest surrounding both the cave and stream does not appear to have been logged, since the area is generally considered to be too rugged for development. Collection for the pet trade is a potential though not confirmed threat to this species (Mozafar Sharifi pers. comm. September 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Nearly all the Hyrcanian forests of Iran are conserved within protected areas, including the range of this species (N. Rastegar-Pouyani pers. comm.). Shir-Abad Cave and the surrounding area was designated a Natural National Monument by the Department of Environment of Gorgan and Gonbad-e-Kavous in 1998.

Citation: Theodore Papenfuss, Steven Anderson, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Sergius Kuzmin, Mozafar Sharifi, Göran Nilson. 2009. Iranodon gorganensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T2666A9466224. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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