The soft-release of captive-born Kaiser’s Mountain Newt Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Caudata) into a highland stream, western Iran

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Tayebe Salehi
Vahid Akmali
Mozafar Sharifi


Captive breeding and reintroduction programs are important conservation tools and are used for increasing the number of plant and animal species worldwide.  The endemic Kaiser’s Mountain Newt Neurergus kaiseri is listed as Vulnerable on the Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is amended to Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES).  In the present study, in order to learn about the survival ability of captive-born newts of N. kaiseri, we conducted a trial translocation of 15 two-year-old captive-born N. kaiseri into the highland stream in Sartakht Village, western Iran.  The survival rate of these newts were determined in two stages, involving early acclimatization in mesh bags and direct release in a highland brook.  In 12 surveys to the translocation site, a total of 86 individuals were identified during spring and summer.  The average survival rate during the acclimatizing phase was 98 ± 0.04 %, while an average survival rate of 12 ± 0.04 % was obtained when the newts were released in the brook.  Applying an average diurnal detection probability obtained for the Yellow Spotted Mountain Newt Neurergus derjugini, the overall survival rate in September when newts began the autumn withdrawal was 13%.  These findings demonstrate that captive-born N. kaiseri released into the wild in controlled conditions can survive during spring and summer and provide information for future reintroduction plan of this species.

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Salehi, T., Akmali, V. and Sharifi, M. 2019. The soft-release of captive-born Kaiser’s Mountain Newt Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Caudata) into a highland stream, western Iran. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 11, 10 (Aug. 2019), 14259–14267. DOI:


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