Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Montivipera latifii
Species Authority: (Mertens, Darevsky & Klemmer, 1967)
Common Name(s):
English Latifi's Viper
Vipera latifii Mertens, Darevsky & Klemmer, 1967
Taxonomic Notes: This species is sometimes considered to be conspecific with V. raddei (see McDiarmid et al. 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(v); C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Nilson, G.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. & Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Endangered because its area of occupancy (rocky boulder habitats) is probably less than 500 km², it is known from a single location, and there is continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, and there are believed to be fewer than 2,500 mature individuals with all individuals in one subpopulation.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1986 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to a small area in the upper Lar River Basin, in the Central Alborz Mountains of Iran. Earlier records of this species are from the localities of Ab-ask, Afjeh, Firuzkuh, Gajereh, Gachsar and Havir, however these areas are now heavily populated and today it is believed to be restricted to the partially protected upper Lar River Valley (G. Nilson pers. comm. October 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is possible that the species consists of fewer than 2,000 mature individuals, although it is difficult to provide a more accurate estimate (G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2000
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is present in rural and mountainous areas with grasslands. Animals may be found in rocky areas with boulders along the bottom of the cliff face at the edges of the Lar Valley (Latifi 1991; G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008). It does not occur in open areas. It is a viviparous species; litters of between five and ten young are born during the summer (Latifi 1991).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much of the suitable habitat for this species in the Lar Valley was submerged in the late 1970s when a downstream dam was built (G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008). There is currently no habitat loss within the species limited range. The species is seriously threatened by the over-collection of animals for their use in serum production by professional snake collectors (G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008). This has had a very severe impact on the total population size. It does not appear to have been recorded in the European pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Access to the valley is restricted by a guard post, however, snake collectors have often been seen in the valley (G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008). There is a need to regulate against and prevent the collection of this species which is generally not harmful to people in its remote distribution.

Citation: Nilson, G. 2009. Montivipera latifii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T22992A9406111. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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