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DOE Wary of Salamander Sales
People, Environment

DOE Wary of Salamander Sales

The illegal trade of Luristan newt, a salamander species endemic to the southern Zagros mountains in Iran, always spikes in the weeks leading up to the Iranian New Year (Norouz), which begins on March 21. "We've asked the High Environment Council to approve upgrading the status of Samandar 2 region (a major habitat of the salamander in Lorestan Province) to increase its security," Mehrdad Fat'hi Beyranvand, the head of the Department of Environment's provincial office, told the Persian daily Vaghaye Ettefaghie. Also called Kaiser's spotted newt, the Luristan newt is listed as a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Affluent families in Iran have taken a liking to purchasing these colorful salamanders to decorate their "Haft Seen" table–a tabletop arrangement of symbolic items prepared for Norouz.

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