Neurergus microspilotus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Salamandridae

Scientific Name: Neurergus microspilotus
Species Authority: (Nesterov, 1916)
Common Name(s):
English Kurdistan Newt
Rhithrotriton derjugini Nesterov, 1916 var. derjugini
Rhithrotriton derjugini Nesterov, 1916 var. microspilotus
Taxonomic Source(s): Najafi-Majd, E., Yildirim, E., Kaya, U. 2013. The study of correlation between age, body size and pattern (number and size of spots) in some Neurergus derjugini (Nesterove, 1916) populations from North West of Iran. 17th European Congress of Herpetology and SEH Ordinary General Meeting. University of Pannonia. Veszprém (Hungary).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A3cde+4cde; B2ab(iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Sharifi, M., Shafiei Bafti, S., Papenfuss, T., Anderson, S., Kuzmin, S. & Rastegar-Pouyani, N.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Temple, H.J.
Listed as Critically Endangered, because its Area of Occupancy is less than 10km2, it is known from only four severely fragmented streams (with no movement of animals between these), and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its stream habitat, and in the number of subpopulations and individuals because of habitat degradation, drought and overcollection of animals for both the national and international pet trade.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to the Avroman Mountains on the Iraq-Iran-Turkey border, however it has currently only been recorded from Iran (Leviton et al. 1992, M. Sharifi pers. comm. September 2008) where it was known from five streams, but is now restricted to only four (now extinct at the type locality of Ghorighaleh). Many of the known localities are easy to access by people. Within Iran it is found in Kermenshah Province; it has not been confirmed from Turkey or Iraq. It has an altitudinal range of 1,300-1,400 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1300
Upper elevation limit (metres):1400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a reasonably common species in suitable habitat. A number of populations have become extirpated, presumably through recent severe drought or illegal harvesting for the pet trade.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known only from small streams and its terrestrial habitat is unknown. The area surrounding the streams is a dry canyon, with open oak forest and grassland. The mass migration of animals has been observed only as far as river banks to streams. The species breeds, and larval development takes place, in streams. It is considered to be susceptible to habitat disturbance.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The breeding habitat of this species in the Zagros Mountains has recently been impacted by severe droughts which has led to the extirpation of some populations. Extraction of stream water into nearby orchards and some areas of wheat is a major threat to this species. Water contamination close to villages and small townships (largely by agrochemicals) (for example at Ghorighaleh) is leading to a decline in nearby populations. It is regularly seen in the illegal pet trade, both nationally (it has been regularly recorded in the pet shops of Kermanshah [M. Sharifi pers. comm. September 2008] and Kerman [S. Shafti pers. comm. September 2008]) and internationally (T. Papenfuss pers. comm. September 2008), and this is considered to be an increasing threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs within the Zagrosian Oak Forest, which is generally protected. It is protected by national legislation in Iran, but this requires better enforcement. Actions need to be taken immediately to prevent the illegal export of this species for the pet trade. Captive breeding may have an important role to play in the conservation of this species. It has been successfully bred in captivity (M. Sharifi pers. comm. September 2008). The establishment of reintroduction programmes for captive-bred stock would be desirable (M. Sharifi pers. comm. September 2008). It would be useful to determine if this species is susceptible to infection with the chytrid fungus (M. Sharifi and T. Papenfuss pers. comm. September 2008). It is recommended that the possible inclusion of this species on CITES should be considered (M. Sharifi and T. Papenfuss pers. comm. September 2008).

Citation: Sharifi, M., Shafiei Bafti, S., Papenfuss, T., Anderson, S., Kuzmin, S. & Rastegar-Pouyani, N. 2016. Neurergus microspilotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59451A86642381. . Downloaded on 24 October 2016.
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