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Extinction of “Child of Fire” Newt

Posted on Feb, 19, 2013
Contributed to WCHV by Sahand Adib
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Translated by WCHV.

Kaiser’s Spotted (KS) Newt (Neurergus kaiseri), also known as the Luristan Newt or Emperor Spotted Newt  is a species of very colorful salamander in the Salamandridae family. It is endemic to the southern Zagros Mountains in Iran.  The KS Newt and Salamander is one of the most beautiful species of salamander and is estimated that there are only about 1,000 to 10,000 left in the wild. However it has been reported widely that as of January 2013, the KS Newt or salamander only lives in captivity and is now considered to be highly endangered. 

The reasons for the almost extinction of the KS Newt are environmental pollution, drying rivers, streams and ponds which are their natural habitat and the most recent one; the illegal capture and trade in the black market by profiteers.  Lack of education and awareness about environmental issues and absence of preservation mandate has also led to trading of these KS Newt or salamander for the Norooz festival or the Persian New Year. 

KS Newt or Salamander’s name means the child of fire in the native Luristan language and it symbolizes bravery and kind spirit. 

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