Spartak N. Litvinchuk, PhD, Senior Researcher of the Genome microevolution and cytoecology group of the Institute of Cytology RAS; 194064, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Prospect Tikhoretsky, 4; e-mail:

Reference to article

Litvinchuk S.N. 2017. Distribution and conservation status of the banded newt, Ommatotriton ophryticus (Amphibia: Caudata). Nature Conservation Research 2(1): 33–39.

Section Research articles

In Russia, the banded newt was recorded in 153 localities in foothill and mountain regions of Krasnodar and Stavropol' territories, as well as in the autonomous republics of Adygea and Karachay-Cherkessia in the northwestern Caucasus. This species also inhabits northeastern Turkey (55 localities) and the western part of Transcaucasia (111 localities). A species distribution model has been developed, based on geographical and bioclimatic data for identification of suitable habitats for Ommatotriton ophryticus. Two bioclimatic variables (temperature seasonality and precipitations of driest month) accounted for 65% of the predicted range. Projecting this model on presumed future climatic conditions (until 2070) showed obvious reduction of the species range in northern and southern borders, as well as, especially, in eastern Georgia and Armenia. The newt is listed in the Red Data Books of the Russian Federation, Armenia, Krasnodar territory and the autonomous republics of Adygea and Karachay-Cherkessia. The main factors influencing the decline of O. ophryticus populations are deforestation, introduction of fishes, destruction, reconstruction and pollution of suitable water bodies, where the newts are breeding.


Armenia, Caucasus, Georgia, GIS-modeling, Maxent program, rare species, Red Data Book, Turkey

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Received at 23.08.2016

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