Neurergus crocatus spotted in Iran

May 3, 2018

TEHRAN — Neurergus crocatus, also known as Lake Urmia Newt and Azerbaijan Newt, has been spotted for the first time in Oshnavieh, a small town in West Azarbaijan province.

Majid Kharrazian-Moqaddam, director of aquatic wildlife at the Department of Environment (DOE), explained that experts from the DOE along with their colleges at the provincial department of the environment in West Azarbaijan managed to spot the species in the Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21-April 20). 

The experts have spotted 12 neurergus crocatus in the area and this is the first time that the DOE has succeeded in sighting the species. 

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, neurergus crocatus is a vulnerable species. 

This species is native to Iran, Iraq and Turkey. It is now present in the vicinity of Beytussebbap (Vilayet Hakkari), southeast Anatolia, Turkey and in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The IUCN report said that there are two old records for northwestern Iran, but current presence should be verified. 

There is no information on its population status for Turkey. Very little is known about this species as there has been little research within its range. The species breeds in montane streams (egg laying) during the spring. Adults are known to leave the streams for surrounding areas after breeding, but the terrestrial habitat remains unknown. It is presumed that the adults occur under rocks and other cover during the winter.

Very little is known about this species. It is likely to be relatively susceptible to habitat change including habitat loss, pollution, and drought. In Turkey, the construction of several dams is planned within the species range. The area of distribution in Turkey is expected to undergo significant development over the next 10 years, and presumably the species will be impacted by these changes.

Neurergus kaiseri, also known as Lorestan mountain newt, Neurergus microspilotus, also known as Kordestan newt, Salamandra infraimmaculata, Triturus karelinii, are some of the species in the family of salamandridae that occur in Iran. 

MQ/PA

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