Video by @joelsartore | Critically-endangered Kurdistan spotted newts reside in just four severely-fragmented streams in Iran. Though they are currently protected by law in Iran, they are often illegally exported for the international pet trade. Captive breeding now plays a vital role in the continuation of this beautiful species.
@ZooWroclaw, where these newts were photographed, is breeding the Kurdistan newt, which creates a chance for its reintroduction back into those four streams in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. Recent studies estimate that there are approximately 1,000 individuals left in nature. A few dozen individuals hatched at the ZOO Wroclaw in 2005, giving even more hope that the species will survive in the long term.
To see a portrait of these newts, follow @joelsartore!