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  Supporting the Sustainable Management of Amphibian and Reptile Biodiversity

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The Neurergus salamanders are found in the Middle East and include two iconic species for conservation, the Loristan newt (Neurergus kaiseri) and the Kurdistan newt (Neurergus microspilotus). We now publish articles on these species in our volume 9 from the Middle East Chapter of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

These articles include a "A conservation reassessment of the Critically Endangered, Lorestan newt Neurergus kaiseri (Schmidt 1952) in Iran."; "Conservation status of the Kurdistan Newt Neurergus microspilotus in Kermanshah and Kurdistan Provinces, Iran."

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." please join our members list at MEMBERSHIP

We have established a website dedicated to Neurergus salamanders at www.neurergus-conservation.redlist-arcme.org

Neurergus Salamanders



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Table of Contents


Sexual size dimorphism in Neurergus kaiseri (Caudata: Salamandridae) in south-western Zagros Mountains, Iran. Mozafar Sharifi, Hossein Farasat, and Somaye Vaissi. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4):1-8. 

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Neuregus kaiseri male cloaca


Summary: Using bivariate and multivariate techniques we evaluated sexual size dimorphism in 13 body-related and six head-related metrics from 99 live specimens of the Lorestan newt, Neurergus kaiseri. Although body measurements gave a clear pattern of differences between the sexes in N. kaiseri, head measurements showed no such distinctions.


Conservation biology, husbandry, and captive breeding of the endemic Anatolia newt, Neurergus strauchii Steindachner (1887) (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae). Sergé Bogaerts, Henry Janssen, Jennifer Macke, Gunter Schultschik, Kristina Ernst, François Maillet, Christoph Bork, Frank Pasmans, and Patrick Wisniewski. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4):9-29.

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Neurergus strauchii

Summary: The long-term experiences of different private breeders on husbandry and breeding of the Anatolia newt, Neurergus strauchii are presented. This information is introduced and discussed in respect to the ecology, systematics, and conservation of N. strauchii, to provide for the successful long-term keeping, breeding, and raising of N. strauchii and also an example and model that may be used for privates’ contribution to Conservation Breeding Programs for endangered Neurergus species and other semi-aquatic salamanders.

Ecology of Kurdistan newt (Neurergus microspilotus: Salamandridae): Population and conservation with an appraisal of the potential impact of urbanization. 2013. Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani, Mohsen Takesh, Akbar Fattahi, Marzieh Sadeghi, Fatemeh Khorshidi, and Robert K Browne. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4):30-35.

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 Figure 1 a Graphs of weather temperature (red) and number of newts (blue) in the Kava (a) and Dorisan (b) habitats.

Summary: The Kurdistan newt, Neurergus microspilotus inhabits springs, wet caves, and streams in the western Iranian Plateau in both Iran, in Kurdistan and Kermanshah Provinces, and in Iraq. Several major populations of N. microspilotus are threatened by urban development. We gathered autecological data of N. microspilotus and evaluated factors that may affect distribution and abundance at twelve localities in Kermanshah Province. The survey sites were classified as undeveloped or developed. We analyzed the effect of ecological factors, including water pH and specific conductance, temperature, peak of mating behavior, and the time of egg-laying. We investigated the correlation between daily maximum air temperature and N. microspilotus population density, and analyzed the impact of urbanization on numbers of N. microspilotus according to Independent-Samples t-test. The densities of N. microspilotus across sites were positively correlated with increased water and daily maximum air temperatures. In addition, we found that densities of N. microspilotus at undeveloped sites were significantly higher than those of developed sites.

Rediscovery of the Lake Urmia newt, Neurergus crocatus Cope, 1862 (Caudata: Salamandridae) in northwestern Iran after 150 years. 2013. Elnaz Najafi-Majd and Uğur Kaya. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4):36-41.

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 Neurergus crocatus habitat  Neurergus crocatus

 Summary: We report on the rediscovery of the Lake Urmia newt, Neurergus crocatus in Iran, 150 years after its original description and last report by Cope 1862. The Lake Urmia newt is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Some specimens, both adult and larvae, of N. crocatus were found in Iran during two field surveys near the Iran-Iraq border (south west of West Azerbaijan Province, surrounding the type locality “Urmia,” at 1786-1823 m above sea level [a.s.l.] elevation). Water samples were taken from two breeding habitats, as preliminary data, and were analyzed for 13 chemical variables. Our confirmation of N. crocatus in northwestern Iran indicates that protection is needed if this species is to persist in Iran. Water chemistry analysis of the two new habitats showed that in this area N. crocatus inhabits good water quality.

New localities of the Kurdistan newt Neurergus microspilotus and Lake Urmia newt Neurergus crocatus (Caudata: Salamandridae) in Iraq. 2013. Al-Sheikhly OF, Nader IA, Rastegar-Pouyani N, Browne RK Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4): 42–49.

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 Neurergus microspilotus    Neurergus crocatus
Left image: an adult male Neurergus microspilotus, and right image, an adult male N. crocatus lower left and female upper right.

Summary:  Little is known about the distribution and current conservation status of the two species of mountain dwelling newts of the genus Neurergus found in the Zagros Mountain in northern and northeastern Iraq: the Critically Endangered Kurdistan newt Neurergus microspilotus (Nesterov 1916), and the vulnerable Lake Urmia newt Neurergus crocatus (Cope 1862). Surveys in the Kurdistan region of northeastern Iraq from 2007 to 2012 resulted in the discovery of N. microspilotus at seven new localities distributed in the Zagros Mountain of Sulaymaniya Province. The new locations provide a major range extension of N. microspilotus. In addition, four new localities of N. crocatus were located between 2007 and 2013. In addition to Neurergus newt surveys, interviews with local people were also conducted through the use of photographs. Severe drought during recent years as well as anthropogenic habitat destruction and pollution have been considered as main threats to the survival of both species in northern Iraq. Here we describe new geographical distributions and the conservation status of both Neurergus species found in Iraq.


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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