This species is currently known only from Vilayets Mus, Bitlis and Malatya in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Of the two confirmed subspecies, N. s. strauchi is found in the streams surrounding the south and west of Lake Van along the ridges of the mountains of Akdag and Mus guneyi daglari.N. s. barani is found in areas near the town of Poturge and is restricted to Kubbe Mountain on the Malatya-Puturge road (Pasmans et al 2006). It is present at altitudes of 1,000-2,000m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is known only from the small, cool mountain streams in which it breeds. The borders of these streams may or may not be wooded. Animals spend the winter months on land under stones and in burrows. The terrestrial habitat of this species is not well known. The female lays between 10 and 20 eggs in a clutch. It can survive some habitat modification (Avci, pers. comm. 2008).
This species is locally common within its limited suitable habitat (Kaya, pers. comm. 2008).
In general, this species lives at high elevations where there is a low human population and few threats. In the eastern part of the species range, close to Bitlis, the species is presumably threatened by pollution of streams and rivers with domestic detergents and sewage. Construction of a dam is planned on the river catchments where the western subspecies in the Kubbe Dagi occurs (G. Eken pers. comm.). This species has been recorded in the pet trade, although it is not known if this is a threat to wild populations (Bogaerts et al., 2006).
It is not known from any protected areas in Turkey. There is a need to develop national legislation to mitigate the pollution of stream habitats in eastern Turkey.
Theodore Papenfuss, Max Sparreboom, Varol Tok, Ismail H. Ugurtas, Murat Sevinç, Sergius Kuzmin, Steven Anderson, Güven Eken, Tuba Kiliç, Engin Gem 2009. Neurergus strauchii. In: IUCN 2014