Native Amphibians Of Turkey

An Anatolian Crested Newt (Triturus anatolicus).
An Anatolian Crested Newt (Triturus anatolicus).

Turkey is an intercontinental country covering parts of both Europe and Asia, with 97% of the country in Asia and the remaining 3% found in Europe. Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and the Sea of Marmara separate these two parts of Turkey. The country is a unitary state led by President Recep Tayyip and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. It is divided into 81 administrative provinces and seven economic regions. Turkey has rich and diverse flora and fauna. Anatolia is home to a rich collection of plants and animals going into thousands of species. The country has forty national parks, 189 nature parks, and eighty wildlife protection areas. This article discusses some of the native species of amphibians found in turkey

Anatolia Lycian Salamander

This amphibian species is endemic to Turkey where it is further restricted to only a very small area in the southwestern parts of Anatolia. The salamander is sensitive to altitude and is only found between 300 feet to 2,100 feet above the sea level. Lycian salamanders are viviparous, and females give birth to one or two fully metamorphosed young salamanders after a one year gestation period. They love hiding under rock piles but shy away from modified habitats. The population is considered to be abundant locally, but it is on a decreasing trend. The greatest threat to the species is habit loss due to forest fires and over-collection of the species for scientific research. The Turkish government has come up with ways of conserving the Lycian Salamander and other animals by having national parks such as Termessos where the species are found in abundance.

Anatolian Crested Newt

The Anatolian Crested newt is quite similar in appearance to the Balkan Crested Newt. Its back and sides are black-brown with dark spots, while the belly is orange. They reach maximum lengths of 3.9 to 5.1 inches. The species is endemic to the coast of the Black sea within a distance of only less than 120 miles from the coast. It is semi-aquatic and spends most of the year on dry land and only going back to the water for reproduction. During the terrestrial stage, the newt can feed underwater while on land they use tongue apprehension to take up food. There is evidence of crossbreeding between the Anatolian crested newt and the Balkan crested newt in some places. The Bern Convention has prohibited the capture, disturbance, killing, trade, and destruction of its natural habitats.

Anatolian Marsh Frog

The Anatolian Marsh Frog is endemic to Turkey and is mainly found in the central parts of the Anatolia and Mediterranean coastal regions. The frog is highly aquatic living in lakes, pools, and slow moving streams. The main food for the frogs are invertebrates and in some instances small vertebrates. One distinguishing feature is the presence of vermiculite orange colored maculation covering the venters.

Marmaris Lycian Salamander

This amphibian is a terrestrial tailed amphibian which is endemic to the Marmaris area, including the Gokova special protected area in Turkey's Mugla Province.It is a relatively small salamander with an adult measuring only five inches. It is brightly colored with yellow eyelids and ear gland and dark brown with silvery-white spots on the belly. The tail and the limbs range from pale yellowish to brownish-orange in color, with bright spots . The reproduction mode is viviparous with only one year gestation period and reproducing two fully metamorphosed young ones. The natural habitats include Marquis scrub or pine woodlands and face the threat of habitat loss and over-collection for research.

Irfan Lycian Salamander

This salamander has a dark head and a reddish brown body with irregularly scattered spots. The belly is whitish. The head is flattened. The species is classified as "critically endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is largely attributed to the small territory area of around ten square kilometers. It is a beautiful salamander attracting a large number of tourists into the region annually.

Native Amphibians Of Turkey

Native Amphibians of Turkey Scientific Name
Anatolia Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra antalyana
Anatolian Crested Newt Triturus anatolicus
Anatolian Marsh Frog Pelophylax caralitanus
Anatolian Newt Neurergus strauchii
Arikan's Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra arikani
Atif's Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra atifi
Bay Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra billae
Fazil Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra fazilae
Irfan's Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra irfani
Marmaris Lycian Salamander Lyciasalamandra flavimembris
Tavas Frog Rana tavasensis
Turkish Smooth Newt Lissotriton kosswigi
Yehudah's Salamander Lyciasalamandra yehudahi

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