Surveying Neurergus in Iran


CITES, Wild Harvest, and Conservation Breeding Programs

Kurdistan Newt Neurergus kaiseri

CITES listing

Neurergus kaiseri is subject to considerable wild harvest and was previously subject to large export to the international markets. Consequently, a successful plea was made in November 2008 for the CITES listing of N. kaiseri. It is unlikely that the export of N. kaiseri continues since CITES listing due to: 1)  the attention of the Iranian Department of the Environment, 2) the numbers of N. kaiseri in captivity, and 3) the ease of of N. kaiseri in captivity.

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Trade from Iran is no longer evidenced since CITES listing, due to  and However, CITES listing has raised issues of how to manage the large numbers of N. kaiseri in zoos and in private collections to the benefit of the sustainable management of N. kaiseri.

The ease of reproduction and husbandry, and the beauty of N. kaiseri makes this species as ideal salamander as a pet or display amphibian.  The large numbers being bred also suggests and inevitability in the breeding of novel colour varieties. Therefore, as a captive bred pet or display amphibian, N. kaiseri offers the potential to both increase public consciousness of the value of amphibian conservation, and reduce the harvest of wild newts, salamanders, and other amphibians for the trade.
The use of N. kaiseri as a CITES 1 listed species for the pet or display offers particular challenges. Clearly colour varieties easily distinguishable from natural morphs could be exempt from CITES regulations. The means to prevent CITES listing from unduly restricting captive care of natural morphs is still under debate (see our discussion group). However, N. kaiseri offers an ideal example to resolve this issue.”

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Limiting wild harvest

Neurergus kaiseri is still harvested in numbers for local sale within Iran. The Iranian Department of the Environment is active in limiting the wild harvest of N. kaiseri and its sale in Iran. Read more

Moassese Khazande Shenasan Pars is implementing a community awareness program focussing on regional communities and authorities in the areas of harvest. The unfamiliarity of local people regarding the conservation needs of N. kaiseri to prevenjt harvest and preserve their environment, this project aims to promote participatory conservation of the species and its habitat. Read more

Conservation Breeding Programs

Iranian -

Razi University is home to a Conservation Breeding Program for N. kaiseri supported by the

International -

Neurergus kaiseri is long lived and the captive individuals, and particularly the many wild caught founders, present a considerable genetic resource for the management of Conservation Breeding for N. kaiseri. International Conservatiion Breeding programs for N. kaiseri include; 1) ISIS listed programs in zoos, 2) Conservation Breeding combined with riasing funds for conservation through sale, and 3) large numbers of founders held by privates with some in studbooks.

Because of its beauty, size, and ease of reproduction N. kaiseri is an ideal species to satisfy the pet and display market, and to incorporate Conservation Breeding of a critically endangered newt among privates. Its colouration and variation in coloration means that with time color variaties would inevitably develop and encourage further interst in N. kaiseri and the conservation of all salamanders.

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