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Kurdistan Spotted Newt on Verge of Extinction

Kurdistan Spotted Newt on Verge of ExtinctionKurdistan Spotted Newt on Verge of Extinction

Kurdistan spotted newt, an amphibian endemic to Iran, is on the verge of extinction, as water pollution is threatening its most important habitat in Sardasht County in West Azarbaijan Province.

Khaled Bayazidi, the head of the Department of Environment’s office in Sardasht, said the Kurdistan newts are found near most Sardasht waterfalls and streams, IRNA reported.

“This amphibian is highly sensitive to water pollution and a slight change in water composition adversely affects its metabolism,” he said.

The official noted that as part of conservation measures, several projects are to be conducted, including newt population surveys, simultaneously in the western provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdestan and West Azarbaijan next spring.

Bayazidi called on the public to cooperate, stressing that without Sardasht residents’ help, any conservation measure will be doomed.  

Classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Kurdistan newts have been declining significantly over the past decades.

This species is also found in the Hawraman mountainous region on the Iraq-Iran borders.

In Iran, it inhabits the Zagros Oak Forests, which are generally protected. It is protected by national legislation in Iran, but this requires better enforcement.

Measures need to be taken immediately to prevent degradation of its habitats, water pollution and the illegal export of this species to pet markets.

 

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