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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Caucasus, where it has been recorded in south Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The distribution range of the species is covers the Great Caucasus in Russia, Abkhazia, Georgia and, apparently, of Azerbaijan. It is found on the northern and southern slopes of the Great Caucasus from Fisht-Oshten massif in the west up to the eastern Georgia and north-western Azerbaijan (Lagodekhi and Zakatali Reservations) in the east. The continuous distribution range stretches eastwards up to the Bol'shaya Laba River, further a chain of isolated populations is known from Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, northern and eastern Georgia. It ranges between 1,500 and 2,800m asl.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: S Russia (the Caucasus), Georgia, Azerbaijan. Elevation up to 3000 m.  
Type locality: Svanetia, Georgia
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Source: The Reptile Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits the upper-forest zone, stream borders, shrub forests, subalpine and alpine meadows, rocky scree, talus slopes and montane moraines. Animals emerge after hibernation from the middle of April to the beginning of June, with males emerging early. The period of reproduction occurs in the end of April - May, with the young appearing in August - September. The female gives birth to between 3 and 7 young. Animals begin hibernation from September - beginning of October.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Boris Tuniyev, Goren Nilson, Aram Agasyan, Nikolai Orlov, and Sako Tuniyev

Reviewer/s
Neil Cox and Helen Temple

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline due to persecution, overcollecting and overgrazing of its habitat.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Rare
    (Groombridge 1994)
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Population

Population
The western populations (1500-2400masl) are quite common, however the eastern populations (2200-2800masl) are very fragmented.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by the degradation of its subalpine pasture habitats by intensive overgrazing by cattle. In areas of tourism this snake (and other vipers) is often killed. The species is additionally overcollected for the pet trade.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species was included into the Red Data Books of USSR (1984) and Georgia (1982). At present, it is included in the Red Data Book of Russian Federation (2001) with the status and category 2 (as an endemic of high mountains of Great Caucasus). Populations occur in the Caucasian State Biosphere Reserve, Sochi National Park, Ineritza Relict National Park, Lagodejia Reserve, Tebergin Biosphere Reserve, Nozacetian State Reserve, Kobaljini High Mount. Reserve, Preelbrusia Mountain National Park, and in several additional lower level protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Vipera dinniki

Common names: Dinnik's viper, Caucasus subalpine viper.[2]

Vipera dinniki is a venomous viper species endemic to Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.[1] No subspecies are currently recognized.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The specific name, dinniki, is in honor of Russian herpetologist Nikolai Yakovlevich Dinnik.[4][5]

Description[edit]

Of the 49 Russian specimens examined by Orlov and Tuniyev (1990), 29 were males, and the largest male measured 41.2 cm (16.2 in) in total length (body + tail). Of the 20 females, the largest was 48.6 cm (19.1 in) in total length.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

V. dinniki is found from Russia (Great Caucasus) and Georgia (high mountain basin of the Inguri River), eastward to Azerbaijan.

According to Nikolsky (1916), the type locality is "upper reaches of the Malaya Laba 8000 feet [2438 m] above sea level ... and Svanetia, 7000 feet [2134 m] above sea level." According to Nilson et al. (1995), Vedmederja et al. (1986) restricted the type locality to "Malaya Laba" through lectotype selection. Orlov and Tuniyev (1990) give the lectotype locality as "Upper reaches of the Malaya (Small) Bolshaya Laba River, Northern Caucasus".[1]

Conservation status[edit]

This species is classified Vulnerable (VU) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with the following criteria: C1+2a (v2.3, 1994).[6] This indicates that the population is estimated to number less than 10,000 mature individuals. A continued decline of at least 10% is expected within 10 years or three generations, whichever is longer. In addition, a continued decline is expected due to a severely fragmented population structure, with no subpopulation estimated to contain more than 1,000 mature individuals. Year assessed: 1996.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company. 359 pp. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.
  3. ^ "Vipera dinniki". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2006. 
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins; Michael Grayson. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 312 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Vipera dinniki, p. 73.)
  5. ^ Lescure, Jean, and Bernard Le Garff. 2006. L'étymologie des noms d'amphibiens et de reptiles d'Europe. Paris: Éditions Belin. 207 pp. ISBN 2-7011-4142-7.
  6. ^ Vipera dinniki at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 2 September 2007.
  7. ^ 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 2 September 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nilson G, Tuniyev BS, Orlov NL, Höggren M, Andrén C. 1995. Systematics of the vipers of the Caucasus: Polymorphism or sibling species? Asiatic Herpetological Research 6: 1-26.
  • Nikolsky AM. 1913. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Caucasus (Herpetologia caucasia). Tiflis: The Caucasus Museum Publishing. 272 pp. [in Russian] (Vipera berus dinniki, new subspecies.)
  • Orlov NL, Tuniyev BS. 1990. Three species in the Vipera kaznakowi complex (Eurosiberian Group) in the Caucasus: Their present distribution, possible genesis, and phylogeny. Asiatic Herpetological Research 3: 1-36.
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