People, Environment

DOE Launches Plan for Protecting Luristan Newts

The Luristan newt is callisfied as an "endangered species" by the IUCN.The Luristan newt is callisfied as an "endangered species" by the IUCN.

Iran has launched a comprehensive monitoring and survey plan for the endangered Luristan newt, the first ever for the species, an official at the Department of Environment said on Saturday.

In line with DOE's policies on the protection of rare and vulnerable species, "the plan aims to monitor habitats of local newts of Gorgan (in Golestan Province), Lorestan, Kurdestan and East and West Azarbaijan provinces", Majid Kharrazian Moqaddam, director of the department's Wildlife Office, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

"The plan's implementation will help us fill gaps in our data," he added.

According to the official, the plan has been implemented in Lorestan and Khuzestan provinces. Other provinces will soon be covered.

Moqaddam emphasized that the DOE cannot save the species alone and called on all the relevant NGOs and state-run entities to lend a hand.

According to figures, Iran is home to seven types of newt, among which four are on the brink of extinction.

Massive destruction of water springs for agricultural and animal farm use, habitat loss, endless droughts, poaching and the damming of streams that are their habitats have been linked to the sharp decline in the number of the colorful animal.

The species is on the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature and also protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which has imposed an all-out ban on their trade.

Luristan newt, also called "emperor spotted newt" is a critically endangered salamander according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. It is a small animal, reaching only 13 cm in length.

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 to celebrate Norouz (the Iranian New Year).


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