Action Plan for the Conservation of Endemic Anatolian Meadow Viper, Vipera anatolica Eiselt & Baran, 1970 in Southwestern Anatolia


TOK C. V. , AFSAR M., Yakin B. Y. , ÇİÇEK K.

FORESTIST, vol.71, no.3, pp.167-174, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 71 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/forestist.2021.20055
  • Title of Journal : FORESTIST
  • Page Numbers: pp.167-174
  • Keywords: Anatolia, ecology, species action plan, Vipera anatolica, viper conservation, MOUNTAINS, REPTILES, TURKEY

Abstract

The Anatolian viper. Vipera anatolica Eiselt & Baran. 1970, is the rarest, critically endangered, and endemic species in the western Taurus Mountains. Antalya. Turkey. Here. we evaluated the current status, potential threats, and recommended necessary conservation measures for Anatolian meadow viper. We created some activities during the 5 year species conservation action plan implemented by the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks. We conducted 70-days extensive fieldworks between May and October 2016-2017 for determining the distribution, habitat characteristics, phenology, and population status of the species in the province of Antalya. We also interviewed locals and surveyed potential threats of Anatolian meadow viper. We detected only 10 specimens in the territory of the Ciglikara cedar forest reserve at altitudes between 1800 and 2300 m and only two specimens in the territory of Geyik Mountains at altitudes between 1600 and 1900 m. We determined the potential threats like habitat loss and degradation, quarry (especially for senliki subspecies), global climate change, illegal collecting, and willingly or accidentally killing of vipers. Major precautions to protect the species were determined as: (1) to establish protected habitat patches in the species' known distribution and to prohibit entrance and grazing activities, (2) to create alternative new habitats for reintroduction, (3) to plan long-term monitoring survey to obtain data on its ecology and population trends. (4) to start a captive breeding program. (5) to educate and raise awareness among locals to prevent illegal collecting, willingly or/and accidentally killing of specimens for the sustainability of Anatolian meadow viper.