New reptile subspecies discovered in Tunceli

New reptile subspecies discovered in Tunceli

New reptile subspecies discovered in Tunceli

AA Photo

A new subspecies of lizard has been discovered in the eastern province of Tunceli.

The subspecies, published in the Russian Journal of Herpetology, was named Neurergus Strauchii Munzurensis after the Munzur River in the region. 

Adnan Menderes University Professor Kurtuluş Olgun said they had carried out works in various areas of the province in 2014 and 2015, discovering the new reptile.

“This species is living in Tunceli only. Its close relatives might be around the province,” he said, noting that the province, locally known as Dersim, was very rich in biodiversity.

“The place where this animal was discovered is the region between the Munzur and Pülümür rivers. This region is very important in terms of biodiversity as well as plants because the river creates isolation by blocking the passage of these animals. This region should be searched and protected better,” he said.

Olgun also noted that new subspecies could be discovered as the works deepen. “The people of Tunceli are very sensitive about protecting the environment. The region and environment between Munzur and Pülümür rivers should not be damaged.” 

The province is also home to many endemic plants.