Salamander habitats monitoring schemes get underway

May 21, 2017

TEHRAN — Iran has recently started implementing schemes with the aim of monitoring salamander habitats nationwide, IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

As salamander species are considered endangered in the country the first step to protect these vulnerable and precious animals is monitoring their natural habitats throughout the country.

“Thankfully the habitat monitoring schemes are being carried out successfully in provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Khuzestan, Lorestan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Azarbaijan,” the director general for office for aquatic wildlife of the Department of Environment said.

Since the sixth five-year development plan mandates endangered species conservation the budget for conservation schemes is now allocated and strategic plans to protect the species are already drawn up and are expected to be implemented particularly in provinces of Khuzestan and Lorestan to which salamander is most endemic, Majid Kharrazian-Moqaddam added.

Additionally Masoud Ebrahim-Tehrani, the head of reptiles and amphibians office explained that out of seven salamander species found in Iran four are endangered and data on the rest of them are not well-documented.

“Therefore, a group of expert are now striving to collect as much information as possible on salamander species distribution, habitat, and threats posing them and also examine the vegetation and the ponds and spring in their habitats,” Ebrahim-Tehrani noted.

Unfortunately depleting the lakes and ponds for irrigation purposes and locals’ lack of awareness about the salamanders are most threatening the species, he suggested.

Moreover, the illegal trade of the salamander species and illegal poaching have also dragged the species on the verge of extinction.

Kaiser's spotted newt, also known as the Lorestan newt or emperor spotted Newt, is a species of very colorful salamander and one of the world’s most attractive salamander species. It is only endemic to the southern Zagros Mountains in Iran.

MQ/MG

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