ENDANGERED SPECIES OF TRITON IS DISCOVERED IN ARMENIA
YEREVAN, JUNE 8. ARMINFO. An isolated population of tritons (Triturus vittatus) has been discovered in Armenia outside their traditional habitat, Head of Hydrobiology Department of the Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology of Armenia's National Academy of Sciences Evelina Ghoukassyan says in an interview to ARMINFO.
She says that the prehistoric triton lives in fresh reservoirs near town Shamlukh, Lori region. Besides, when biologists asked the Ministry for Nature Protection to do something to protect the triton they were threatened against advertising the discovery. Goukassyan says that the Ministry's argument was that should local residents happen to know about the rarity of this species they will start catching it without any control. Some sources say that the triton is not only well known in Armenia but is actively smuggled to United Arab Emirates where local residents are ready to pay big money for exotic species.
The herpentologist of Zoology Institute of the National Academy of Science of Armenia Aram Agasyan says that the triton was first registered in Armenia in 1937. In 1985, 1992 and 2002 scientists asked the Armenian authorities to recognize the triton as an endangered species but the latter failed to mention the amphibian in Armenia's Red Book edition of 1988. If ever published the new edition will certainly mention the triton, says Agassyan.
The triton belongs to the order of salamanders. During the period of coupling male tritons acquire very bright coloring - an attraction for collectioners.
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Animal in Armenia
--- (“Pokrasiakan triton”)
Rare treatened species. Included in the Red Book of the former Soviet Union.
Habitat in Armenia
Known from few lakes near Alaverdi and Shamlugh in Lori region of Armenia
Number in the wild
Reasons for decrease in number
Illegal collection and trade
Number in captivity
Kept in some private collections
Measures of protection taken
No data available
Tadevosyan's Herpetological Resources at http://www.herp-am.narod.ru/Species/tvit.htm