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Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

This is a Press Information page entitled Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection within the Press / News Items section of Caudata.org --- FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE Doha, Qatar: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection by John Clare - Caudata.org, London, UK - Sunday, March 21st, 2010 Today ...

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Old 21st March 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Post Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

Doha, Qatar: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

by John Clare - Caudata.org, London, UK - Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Today the delegates attending the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) unanimously passed the Iranian government's proposal to extend the convention's highest protection to the critically endangered Luristan Newt, Neurergus kaiseri.

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Luristan Newt, Neurergus kaiseri, breeding adult at Sedgwick County Zoo, USA

The species is now listed in Appendix I of the convention, which effectively outlaws all international trade in the species, and may impact trade within some countries too.

According to some estimates, the species may number as little as 500 in the wild. Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas, USA, has had enormous success in captive breeding this beautiful newt and is surely a lesson to other institutions around the world. With the right expertise and surprisingly little required resources, the zoo regularly produces more vigorous young newts than they can keep in-house.

Iran and its supporters cited the illegal collection of these newts for the international pet trade as the main cause of the newt's critically endangered status. Sale of wild caught animals through the Internet has exacerbated the situation, and the greater ramifications of the new "online" market for exotic animals has been the subject of much campaigning and discussion in Doha.

Pet owners and newt hobbyists have tried to assert that much of the online trade in wild caught Luristan newts has declined and is more and more subject to replacement with captive bred animals, which in turn has caused prices to drop from several hundred US dollars two or three years ago, to as little as USD $70 today. However, the listing of the newt as CITES Appendix I may effectively ban the sale of captive bred animals in the USA, because of that country's Lacey Act. Strict interpretation of the Lacey Act would mean all Luristan Newts in the USA could be ruled illegal. The ruling on enforcement has yet to be published by United States Fish and Wildlife but it seems likely that, at the very least, trade within the US across state lines must cease.

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Luristan Newt juveniles, Neurergus kaiseri, captive bred at Sedgwick County Zoo, USA

So while the listing obviously helps to reduce wild collection, it also negates any captive breeding efforts outside of officially sanctioned institutions like zoos and aquariums. Zoos must pick and choose the animals that they maintain, and newts rarely, if ever, make it into institutional collections due to their generally poor visibility as display animals and their specialist maintenance requirements. There is also very little institutional expertise when it comes to newts and salamanders - virtually no zoos have ever bred a species of tailed-amphibian.

Today's decision by the delegates meeting in Doha is a positive step for remaining Luristan newts in the wild, but the large shortfall in the required expertise and low availability of newt-friendly grants and funding may hamper any serious captive breeding and reintroduction efforts.

CITES Press release: Press release




Last edited by John; 22nd March 2010 at 16:13.
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Old 22nd March 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

With all the hub bub that has surrounded this move by Iran to list this species in Appendix I, am I the only one left wondering if it's too long overdue to be of much help in saving the species? Only 500 specimens in a very restricted range? Can that number possibly be enough to ensure the survival of this species in the wild?



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Old 22nd March 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Agreed. Too little too late in so many aspects. I just hope the Islamic Republic of Iran keeps their end of the deal better than they have been.



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Old 22nd March 2010   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Why did the population estimate halve overnight? Is there some new survey data based on this years breeding numbers?

This enforced lock-down may cause a price rise for cb kaiseri, after all they will be harder to come by now. I can see a black market replacing the current grey one.



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Old 22nd March 2010   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

I wonder the same thing Mark. So many unknowns with this species.



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Old 22nd March 2010   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Well remember the 1000 adult population figure is from a 2000 IUCN estimate. Iran reports an estimated 80% drop in population in the last 10 years.

500 mature individuals left could very well be accurate. For instance, Sharifi et al. (2003) only found 13 individuals at one site over a 3-day search in late March.



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Old 22nd March 2010   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

But it is, in fact, just speculation on my part. I base this speculation on a combination of available online information such as CITES, IUCN, TRAFFIC, and the limited published data that exists on N. kaiseri populations, as well as some personal communications with people who have actually seen and studied wild kaiseri.




Last edited by John; 22nd March 2010 at 18:31. Reason: Made my point
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Old 22nd March 2010   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Just to remind everyone, Iran referenced Caudata.org in their proposal to CITES that resulted in the listing of the species. You can read the information they referenced here: Caudata Culture Species Entry - Neurergus kaiseri

From the point of view of those keeping this newt in captivity, there is a detailed discussion here: Neurergus kaiseri CITES Appendix I soon?



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Old 25th March 2010   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

It's interesting that "Chris" is still selling kaiseri on kingsnake.com : kingsnake.com Classifieds: CB Neurergus kaiseri (Iranian newts)

He's obviously not keeping up with current events - perhaps USFW will give him a friendly reminder.




Last edited by John; 25th March 2010 at 06:51.
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Old 25th March 2010   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Also interesting that by now - 8 hours later - the ad has been removed.



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Old 25th March 2010   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

An amphibian expert told me that since they are not listed with ESA c.b. are legal to sell within the U.S. If they do get listed a permit will be needed. I wouldn't be surprised if we never hear from USFW on this. They have not given official answers on some questionable dart frogs.



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Old 26th March 2010   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

A very real problem here is that Iran clearly states no kaiseri have ever been exported legally. This makes them illegal, whether wild-caught imported or captive bred domestically, under interpretation of the Lacey Act of 1900.

Utmost caution is advised here, folks. It's been said many times, USFW has a habit of announcing their official position on certain topics with high-profile busts and confiscations.




Last edited by nate; 26th March 2010 at 01:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 6th April 2010   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

I've had correspondence from DEFRA in the UK regarding the interpretation of the Appendix 1 listing. I will post the response here once I have permission and clarification on certain points. My initial feeling is that within the EU ownership certification costs will make breeding N.kaiseri in captivity financially impossible.



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Old 6th April 2010   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennewt View Post
Also interesting that by now - 8 hours later - the ad has been removed.
The add is up. On Kingsnake.com you set your add up to run from 1 day to 30 days with several options in between. Most set up them up for 1 to 7 days so people don't email about out of date adds. This way most things in the want adds are current. My guess is the add ran out and Chris didn't repost right away.

The add is up and people are buying them.



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Old 7th April 2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

In an amusing development, Iranian Press TV has plagiarised this press release (don't take my word for it, read the Iranian version - it's in English) and this has been syndicated on many web sites:

Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection
Muslims.net - Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection
Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection - International Trade Gossip
IslamOnline, Islamic News, Islamic Finance and Business - Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection
Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection - kodoom.com

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I would have liked a link...



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Old 30th July 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
I've had correspondence from DEFRA in the UK regarding the interpretation of the Appendix 1 listing. I will post the response here once I have permission and clarification on certain points. My initial feeling is that within the EU ownership certification costs will make breeding N.kaiseri in captivity financially impossible.
Did you ever get an answer?



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Old 31st July 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

They promised to inform me when the new EU legislation was formally drawn up. They said it could be months so I wouldn't hold your breath. I imagine there are a whole host of issues surrounding group certification, legality, marking etc.

Has any EU keeper actually tried to certify kaiseri for trade since the listing? I suspect these things get pushed along more quickly when someone actually tries the system.

In the mean time you'd be wise to check with your local authority before selling kaiseri.

This thread gives details of the certification requirements: Implications of N.kaiseri CITES Appendix 1 listing in the European Union




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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate View Post
A very real problem here is that Iran clearly states no kaiseri have ever been exported legally. This makes them illegal, whether wild-caught imported or captive bred domestically, under interpretation of the Lacey Act of 1900.
Are you sticking with this statement?




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Default Re: Luristan Newt receives full CITES protection

Have there been any developments in this matter I may have missed? I purchased 6 CB juvenile N. Kaiseri from Philippe De Vosjoli via Sedgewick Zoo's captive breeding program last year, and I've just placed them in their breeding tank. I've reached out to Philippe about half a dozen times in an attempt to obtain some sort of documentation to certify that my animals are US CB (though I'm sure they are), but have only received responses when I asked if more were available, even though I didn't intend on purchasing any more. The only proof I have of where I obtained my animals is the Fedex shipping label which shows them sent from SandFire Dragon ranch in Nevada C/O Philippe, which I have retained. I am but a simple hobbyist, and worry about not being able to move the offspring to any other US hobbyists that may want them. Please advise!



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