Gorgan Mountain Salamander, Paradactylodon gorganensis
The amazing thing about the Gorgan Mountain Salamander, Paradactylodon gorganensis is also a major threat to this species – the adults of this salamander are only known to reside in a single pool in a cave that measures 100 m by 10 m at most. It is estimated that only about 100 breeding adults remain in this extremely confined range. However, larvae of this species can be found outside the cave in the stream flowing from it.
The Gorgan Mountain Salamander is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM because of its narrow range and increasing decline in its specialized habitat in the Shir-Abad Cave of northern Iran. The cave is often disturbed by visitors. The Gorgan Mountain Salamander is an almost fully aquatic salamander, which can be identified by its rounded snout, large head, and long tail.
Threats to Gorgan Mountain Salamanders include human encroachment on its highly specialized range and possible collection for the pet trade.
Since the Shir-Abad Cave and the surrounding area were designated a Natural National Monument by the Department of Environment of Gorgan and Gonbad-e-Kavous in 1998, the range of this species are within protected areas.
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