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Pelobates syriacus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA ANURA PELOBATIDAE

Scientific Name: Pelobates syriacus
Species Authority: Boettger, 1889
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Spadefoot, Syrian Spadefoot
Synonym(s):
Pelobates transcaucasicus Delwig, 1928
Taxonomic Notes: Further investigations into differences between populations in Turkish Thrace (Pelobates syriacus balcanicus) and those of Seydişhir vilayet are needed (İ.H. Ugurtas pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Aram Agasyan, Boris Tuniyev, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, John Wilkinson, Natalia Ananjeva, Nazan Üzüm, Nikolai Orlov, Richard Podloucky, Sako Tuniyev, Uğur Kaya
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the south-east Balkans, east to south-eastern Transcaucasia and northern Iran, and south to the Levant. In the Balkans it occurs in Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, southern Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. It occurs widely, but in scattered populations in Turkey. In Caucasian region it is found in southeastern Armenia, Georgia north to Tbilisi and Azerbaijan, north to southern Dagestan in Russia, and east to the Caspian coastal area of Iran. In the Levant it occurs in northern Syrian Arab Republic and in the southern Coastal Plain [Ashdod] of Israel (the southernmost limit of its range), but it is probably extinct in Jordan where it has not been observed since 1984. It has been recorded from two sites in Lebanon in 2005; in the Hasbani Valley and in the Bekaa Valley near the Aammiq marsh. The species is also expected to occur in Albania, Ukraine and Moldova, but there appear not to be confirmed records from these countries, and records from northern Iraq require confirmation. It occurs from sea level to 2,000m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Georgia; Greece; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey
Regionally extinct:
Jordan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It appears not to be a common species; although a number of populations are often highly fragmented and subject to significant population fluctuations especially in the south of its range. The species is uncommon in Serbia (Kalezic and Dzukic 2001). It is relatively common in Iran. In Lebanon there are very localized but small populations. It is a threatened species in Israel. The species is possibly extinct in Jordan. This species is very rare in the Caucasus Region.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a largely fossorial species. Terrestrial habitats occupied are generally open uncultivated lands such as light forests, steppe (and steppe-like habitats), semi-desert and rocky areas. It is generally less selective than Pelobates fuscus in terms of soil preference, inhabiting not only soft soils suitable for a fossorial life (although they are preferred), but also solid, rocky soils, particularly friable clay with pebbles. Spawning sites include stagnant temporary waterbodies; river or lakeside temporary waterbodies and large permanent pools. It can occur in slightly modified areas, including intensively grazed areas.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is generally threatened by habitat loss through drainage or loss of breeding wetlands and conversion of land to agricultural and industrial use. Threatened by habitat destruction (especially of breeding sites) in Jordan and Israel. In Iran it is threatened by Caspian Sea coastal development, including holiday homes and agriculture (rice). Fragmented populations are susceptible to extinction through population fluctuations, most especially within arid landscapes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix II of the Berne Convention; listed on Annex IV of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. It is protected by legislation in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Israel. It is recorded in a number of national and subnational Red Data Books and Lists. The species occurs in a number of protected areas. It is protected in the Hyrcanian forests of Iran. There have been successful captive breeding and re-introductions of this species in Armenia. Conservation measures, such as habitat construction, are taking place in Israel. Further status surveys are needed in parts of its range or potential range (e.g., Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq).

Citation: Aram Agasyan, Boris Tuniyev, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, John Wilkinson, Natalia Ananjeva, Nazan Üzüm, Nikolai Orlov, Richard Podloucky, Sako Tuniyev, Uğur Kaya 2009. Pelobates syriacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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