A new population and subspecies of the critically endangered Anatolian meadow viper Vipera anatolica Eiselt and Baran, 1970 in eastern Antalya province

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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We report on a new population of Vipera anatolica from the Geyik Mountain Range in eastern Antalya Province, Turkey. It represents only the second known location, and is situated in a valley about 200 km east from the terra typica at Kohu Dağ in western Antalya Province. We compare both populations and, based on marked differences in morphology, habitat, genetics, and its geographically isolated location, we describe the recently discovered population as a new subspecies. Aspects of ecology, threats, and conservation needs are discussed.

A new population and subspecies of the critically endangered Anatolian meadow viper Vipera anatolica Eiselt and Baran, 1970 in eastern Antalya province

in Amphibia-Reptilia



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    Geographic areas: (A) red encircled areas display the terra typica of Vipera anatolica at Kohu Dağ, Elmali District, western Antalaya Province, and the Geyik Mountains (= Geyik Dağlari), Gündoğmuş District, eastern Antalya Province. The blue encircled areas represent some, but not all, mountain ranges with alpine meadows and steppe habitats that might constitute relatively recent or historic migration corridors to link the two populations of V. anatolica; (B) closer view of the new site of Vipera anatolica and described subspecies Vipera a. senliki ssp. nov. at Mühür Dağ within the western Geyik Mountain Range, and 12 other sites visited nearby in green-blue, where the viper was not found, but more searches would be required. Inset shows photo of first specimen from Mühür Dağ provided by Murat Şenlik on 19 May 2016, revealing a new population of V. anatolica.

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    Holotype (Voucher No. ZMADYU 2016/97-2) life Vipera anatolica senliki ssp. nov. A male from Serinyaka Plateau, Mühür Dağ, Gündoğmuş District, eastern Antalya Province, Turkey, collected on 23 May 2016, altitude 1755 m asl., SVL 364 mm, tail length 51 mm, dorsalia rows (anterior-mid-posterior) 21-21-17.

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    Female and male (more contrasting colour pattern) of (A) Vipera anatolica senliki ssp. nov. from Mühür Dağ, Gündoğmuş District, Antalya; and (B) Vipera a. anatolica from Kohu Dağ, terra typica, Elmali District, Antalya.

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    Habitat of Vipera anatolica senliki ssp. nov.: (A) the southern slope (Gelesandra Plateau) of Mühür Dağ, Gündoğmuş District, Antalya; (B) Senir Plateau on Mühür Dağ with a mixture of loose rock slides and luscious herbaceous vegetation.

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    Vipera anatolica senliki ssp. nov. drinking water from a spring, Mühür Dağ, Gündoğmuş District, Antalya.

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    Vipera anatolica senliki ssp. nov. and the threat of mining visible in the background on Mühür Dağ, Gündoğmuş District, Antalya. Much of the barren surface visible in the image is caused by the erosion through the mining activities.

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