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 13 cm in length, and is found only in the Luristan Province of Iran. It is thought that the striking mosaic of black and white patches and 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. In the past one of the greatest concerns for this species was the increasing collection of wild individuals for the international pet trade, however the listing of this species on CITES Appendix I, along with a surge of newts bred by zoos and hobbyists, that have been sold back into the pet trade, has effectively decreased the monetary value of this species and ended the collection and international trade of wild newts. The Sedgwick County Zoo in the US raised funds raised from the sale of zoo-bred newts to help support a year of field research and surveys in Iran.
This species is protected by Iranian national legislation, but immediate action is needed to prevent the illegal export of this attractive newt. A captive breeding program was established in Europe in 2003 and a management group representing zoos, universities and private breeders works cooperatively to increase the captive population and to document ideal management conditions.
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How to become an Amazing Amphibians partner:
Outlined below are the roles and responsibilities for the 4 different levels of involvement for potential partners. If your organization would like to be a part of the Amazing Amphibians program in either of these capacities please email email@example.com.
Senior Partner – These partners will help with multiple aspects of the program, help facilitate the completion of several species profiles, publicize each Amazing Amphibian and will likely have a landing page for the program on their website. This level of partner will be leading in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Strategic Partner – These partners will play an active role in creating species profiles, submitting at least three species profiles per year and actively use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be active in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Focal Partner – Partners tend to be active in a limited geographic area. This partner will submit at least one regional species profile per year and use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be involved in using their communication channels to gather additional information at a regional level for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Affiliate – These partners are interested in promoting the program but might not be in a position to provide profiles. These partners will publicize each Amazing Amphibian through the social media outlets.