Mongabay.com Forgotten Species: the fiery Luristan Newt Mongabay.com
The Luristan newt is "a gem of Iran's rich biological diversity, being endemic to the Zagros Mountains, and the only salamander within its range. Native to a tiny river region in the Zagros mountians of Iran, the Luristan newt Neurergus kaiseri stuns everyone who works with it.
The future of the newt is on the line: currently the species is up for a CITES I protection which would prohibit any international trade in the species, hopefully curtailing the pet trade. This proposal will be submitted by Iran CITES representative at the next CITES Conference of Parties to be held in March in Doha, Qatar. But this may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Luristan newt: it is estimated that less than 1,000 survive in the wild. As a backup plan herpetologists are hoping to set up another captive breeding program, but this time in Iran. However, as with many 'forgotten species' the necessary funds to save the Luristan newt have proven difficult to come by.