Ecological Characterization of the breeding habitat of Luristan newt (Neurergus kaiseri) at local scale

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of environmental science, faculty of natural resources, Isfahan university of Technology, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Conservation Ecology Department of Natural Resources Isfahan University of Technology Isfahan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Conservation Ecology Department of Natural Resources Isfahan University of Technology Isfahan, Iran.


Characterizing habitats has a long history in conservation ecology of species. In spite of high sensitivity of amphibians to environmental changes, habitat associations of many of these species are unknown. Neurergus kaiseri, native to Iran, is a threatened newt species that breeds in springs of Zagros Mountains. There is a lack of information about its ecology and habitat. We compared ecological characteristics of 20 occupied with 20 unoccupied springs by Kaiser’s newt to identify key factors affecting the breeding site selection by this species. In total, we investigated and measured 13 habitat variables in occupied and unoccupied water-bodies during the breeding season, April to June. We applied principal component analysis (PCA) to identify the most important factors in discriminating occupied from unoccupied sites and a logistic regression model based on penalized likelihood ratio to estimate the logit parameters in R. Bed type, water flow rate, shading area, and dissolved oxygen were the most important factors in occupying water-bodies by Kaiser’s newt. The likelihood of species presence was comparatively higher in sites with slow water flow, high dissolved oxygen, cobble substrate, and high shading area. Habitat alteration may highly affect physical-chemical characteristics of the species breeding habitat, and hence the probability of its occurrence. This study provides insight into breeding habitat use by this threatened species and can be used as a basis for further studies on the species habitat ecology.


AmphibiaWeb, 2017. Available from University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Jan 2017.
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