The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 11. Incorporating habitat suitability and demographic data for developing a reintroduction plan for the critically endangered yellow spotted mountain newt, Neurergus derjugini


Open Access

pp. 282-294

Authors: Somaye Vaissi1, Hossein Farasat2, Azhin Mortezazadeh1 & Mozafar Sharifi1

Abstract: In reintroduction programmes for amphibians, data on age structure in hosting populations and choices of life stage or age groups in releasing captive bred individuals are often missing. Similarly, employing site selection procedures for selecting appropriate reintroduction locations are often neglected. Here, we obtained data on longevity, age at maturation, and age structure from skeletochronological data in a free living population of the yellow spotted mountain newt, Neurergus derjugini. A maximum longevity of 13 years for males and 12 years for females showed that N. derjugini is a long living newt with a stable age structure. We also employed maximum entropy modelling, geographic information system, and multicriteria decision analysis to obtain ranked suitability scores for reintroduction sites. Finally, we determined post-release survival rates for different life stage and age groups of N. derjugini including 30 eggs and 60 individuals of six-months old larvae, one and three-year old juveniles, and six-year old adults (15 each) born and raised in a captive-breeding facility and released into mesh enclosures in a selected stream. Over 10 visits to the site before and after overwintering, the survival rates for eggs, larvae, one and three-year juveniles and six-year old adults were 25, 80, 86.66, 93.33 and 53.33 % respectively. Applying survival rates obtained from current experimental reintroductions through a static life table suggest that an optimal release strategy to arrive at a numerical target of 100 adults aged three can be achieved by reintroduction of 650 fertilised eggs and fostering them in meshed enclosures in the selected stream.

Keywords: reintroduction, life table, GIS, survival rate, critically endangered species, Neurergus derjugini

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