FORESTIST
Original Article

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

1.

Department of Biology, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Çanakkale, Turkey

2.

Department of Biology, Celal Bayar University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Manisa, Turkey

3.

Zoology Research Laboratory, Department of Biology, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Çanakkale, Turkey

4.

Zoology Section, Department of Biology, Ege University, Faculty of Science, İzmir, Turkey

FORESTIST 2021; 71: 167-174
DOI: 10.5152/forestist.2021.20055
Read: 98 Downloads: 43 Published: 16 September 2021

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 Çığlıkara 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.

Cite this article as: Tok, C. V., Afsar, M., Yakın, B. Y., & Çiçek, K. (2021). Action plan for the conservation of endemic anatolian meadow viper, vipera anatolica eiselt & baran, 1970 in southwestern anatolia. Forestist, 71(3), 167–174.

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