Photo credit: Twan Leenders
The Luristan Newt, Neurergus kaiseri, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. It is a small species, reaching only 13cm in length, and is found in the Luristan Province of Iran. It is thought that the striking mosaic of black and white patches on its fiery orange dorsal stripe serve to warn potential predators of its toxicity.
The Luristan Newt is estimated to number fewer than 1,000 mature individuals. It is threatened by habitat loss, recent severe droughts and the damming of the few inhabited streams. The greatest current concern for this species, however, is the growing collection of wild individuals for the international pet trade.
This species is protected by Iranian national legislation, but immediate action is needed to prevent the illegal export of this attractive newt. Captive breeding programmes are being considered as a means of bolstering population numbers.
To learn more about the Luristan Newt, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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