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  Supporting the Sustainable Management of Amphibian and Reptile Biodiversity

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Here we present a review article on the sustainable management of the herpetofauna of the Iranian Plateau. Few such articles have been published for any biogeographical region and we hope that our efforts will inspire other teams of authors to write similar reviews for other regions. Also see our special Mexico Issue for other conservation re-assessments.

Neurergus newts are globally prominant in amphibian conservation and include two Critically Endangered species Neurergus kaiseri and N. microspilotus (see issue dedicated to Neurergus salamanders). These species have been subject to extensive field work by the Iranian Department of the Environment, Razi University, and other institutions that has greatly increased our knowledge of these species. We also present new records and species for the region.

For notification of the publication of our articles in press "Sustainable Management of the Iranian Plateau Herpetofauna" and "The amphibian fauna of Kurdistan Province, Western Iran." and others please join our members list at MEMBERSHIP

For Persian abstract and more details of the articles below see www.redlist-arcme.org/Iranian Plateau

 Iranian Plateau Cover    


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Sustainable Management of the Iranian Plateau Herpetofauna. 2014. Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Ali Gholamifard, Rasoul Karamiani,Zahed Bahmani, Asghar Mobaraki, Elham Abtin, Hiwa Faizi, Nastaran Heidari, Mohsen Takesh, Farkhondeh Sayyadi, Nabi Ahsani and Robert K Browne. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. 9(1): 1-15 (in press).


Sustainable management includes the long term protection of biodiversity. Iran is a biogeographical center for the origin of many herpetofaunal species. Numerous factors have made a major impact on various ecosystems including habitat destruction, exotic species, the use of reptile products in traditional medicine and food, and pollution. A concerted Iranian and international program for the sustainable management of Iranian herpetofauna is required because of Iran’s biogeographic status, its high level of herpetological diversity and endemicity, and its importance as a global biodiversity hot spot. PDF

A conservation reassessment of the Critically Endangered, Lorestan newt Neurergus kaiseri (Schmidt 1952) in Iran. 2014. Asghar Mobaraki, Mohsen Amiri, Rahim Alvandi, Masoud Ebrahim Tehrani, Hossein Zarin Kia, Ali Khoshnamvand, Ali Bali, Ehsan Forozanfar, and Robert K Browne. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. 9(1): 16-25. PDF

Summary: The Lorestan newt (Neurergus kaiseri, Schmidt 1952) is an endemic salamander species to Iran, listed as “Critically Endangered” in the 2006 IUCN Red List due to population declines of 80%, over collection for the pet trade; area of occupancy less than 10 km2, fragmented populations, less than 1,000 adults, and continuing habitat degradation and loss. We estimate a minimum total population of greater than ~9,000 adult N. kaiseri at the sites we surveyed. A conservation action plan should be prepared by the Department of the Environment of Iran, with contributions by Iranian and International experts on all facets of the conservation of Neurergus species especially including the expansion of community conservation programs.

First record of Apathya cappadocica muhtari (Eiselt, 1979) (Sauria: Lacertidae) in Iran with its natural history and distribution. 2014. Zahed Bahmani, Rasoul Karamiani, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Ahmad Gharzi. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. 9(1): 26-29. PDF

Summary: The first record of the lacertid lizard Apathya cappadocica muhtari from Iran is presented. The most distinguishing characters of A. c. muhtari is the presence of an undivided and single preanal plate and six longitudinal rows of ventral shields.

The amphibian fauna of Kurdistan Province, Western Iran. 2014. Zahed Bahmani, Rasoul Karamiani, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Ahmad Gharzi, Robert Kenneth Browne. 2014. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 9(1): 31–35.  PDF

Summary: The amphibian fauna of Kurdistan Province was surveyed over a period of three years from April 2010 to June 2013. We found six species of amphibians belong to five genera and four families including: Rana ridibunda and Rana camerani (family Ranidae), Bufo viridis (family Bufonidae), Hyla savignyi (family Hylidae), and the critically endangered Neurergus microspilotus and Salamandara infraimmaculta semenovi (family Salamandridae). N. microspilotus is distributed in Kermanshah and Kurdistan Provinces, while S. i. semenovi is confined to Kurdistan Province. These two species are threatened by anthropogenic habitat modification particularly the loss of suitable aquatic habitat and the effects of climate change.

Conservation status of the Kurdistan Newt Neurergus microspilotus in Kermanshah and Kurdistan Provinces, Iran. Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Rezgar Mirani, Zahed Bahmani, Rasoul Karamiani, Mohsen Takesh, and Robert K Browne. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. 9(1): 36-41.

Low res PDF 2.9M  High res PDF 3.4M

Summary: We found 11 new localities of Kurdistan newt Neurergus microspilotus during extensive surveys work in western regions of the Iranian Plateau from 2012 to 2013 in Kermanshah Province and seven in Kurdistan Province. There were few Neurergus microspilotus observed in each habitat because of a number of threatening processes.

Sexual dimorphism of the Yassujian lizard, Apathya yassujica (Nilson et al, 2003) (Sauria: Lacertidae) from Iran. 2014. Rasoul Karamiani, Sarallah Dabid, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. 9(1): PDF.

Summary: We measured the morphometrics of 23 male and 19 female adult specimens Apathya yassujica (Nilson et al., 2003) from Kohguiluyeh Va Boyer Ahmad and Fars Provinces in southwestern regions of the Iranian Plateau. The uni-and multivariate analyses performed on the morphometric data (metric and meristic) demonstrated that males are larger than females but other morphometrics are the indistinguishable. New records of A. yassujica from different regions of Fars province, southwestern Iran were recorded.


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     Dr Robert Browne

    Dr. Robert Browne Chairperson

    Dr. Browne established the Internet based ARC in 2011 and expanded it globally in 2013. Robert is committed to achieving the ARC's goal to provide for the sustainable management of amphibians and reptiles. He has a wide international experience in herpetological conservation and has published over 40 scientific articles on amphibian and reptile conservation. see Biography