CITES, Wild Harvest, and Conservation Breeding
Kurdistan Newt Neurergus kaiseri
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
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
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.
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
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.”
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
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.
Razi University is home to a
Conservation Breeding Program for N. kaiseri supported by the
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
Because of its beauty, size, and ease of
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.