Rediscovered and critically endangered: Vipera anatolica EISELT & BARAN, 1970, of the western Taurus Mountains (Turkey), with remarks on its ecology

Zinenko O., AVCI A., Spitzenberger F., Tupikov A., Shiryaev K., Bozkurt E., ...More

HERPETOZOA, vol.28, pp.141-148, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: HERPETOZOA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-148
  • Keywords: Reptilia: Squamata: Serpentes: Viperidae; Vipera anatolica, distribution, ecology, conservation, Kohu Dag, "Ciglikara Ormani", Elmali, Antalya, western Taurus Mountains, Turkey, MEADOW VIPER, STEPPE VIPERS, MONT-VENTOUX, URSINII, FRANCE, DIET
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The occurrence of Vipera anatolica EISELT & BARAN, 1970, in the territory of the type locality (cedar forest reserve "Ciglikara Ormai" in the western Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey) was confirmed 29 years after the last observation. Nineteen specimens were found in three localities, situated two kilometers from each other, and located in karst dolines above the tree line between 1,840 and 1,950 m a. s. l. Active snakes were observed during daytime in the beginning of May, mid July and the second half of September. Vipera anatolica is characterized by small maturation size in females (242-360 mm); gravid females were found until the middle of September. The simultaneous presence of pregnant and non-pregnant females in summer indicates that females may not give birth each year. Two neighboring mountain massifs within the attitudinal range of V anatolica were visited, but additional populations were not found. Overgrazing seems to be the main threat to the species since the record localities were associated with low grazing activity and contrasted with potentially suitable habitats where high grazing pressure was present.