Day 82 of #the100dayproject and my #realandendangered project. Today, I present the Luristan Newt (also known as the Kaiser's Spotted Newt), which is endemic to the southern Zagros Mountains (the Luristan Province) in Iran. Here are five facts: 1. They are the smallest of the four Neurergus salamanders. 2. They live in just three fast-flowing spring-fed streams, which run through very arid shrubland. 3. Their striking mosaic of black and white markings, in addition to its fiery orange dorsal stripe, serve as a warning to potential predators of their toxicity. 4. Males perform a courtship dance for females, undulating the tail in front of the female. 5. Females lays eggs under rocks in the stream. Once they hatch, the larvae learn to adapt to the fast-flowing water thanks to conspicuously long tails which help them swim against strong currents.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently lists them as "Vulnerable." Their biggest threat is over-harvesting for national and international pet trade. Additional threats include habitat degradation and destruction from deforestation, utilization of habitats for livestock, dam construction and water abstraction for domestic and agricultural uses, introduced fish species, recreational activities, eco-tourism, disturbance and pollution. One of the biggest wins in conservation for this species was being listed in CITES Appendix I, which made trading the Luristan newt illegal except in exceptional circumstances when a license is required. They are also protected under Iranian national legislation. It is important to ensure those laws are being enforced, thus thwarting any illegal trade activity. #enmlillustration #thesadhappy #digitalart