This species is found in the lowlands of the Tisza and Danube River systems from eastern Austria, extreme southern Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, northern Croatia, extreme northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, northern Serbia and western Romania, eastwards to the Transcarpathian Plain in southern Romania, northern Bulgaria, southern Moldova (the lower reaches of the Prut River), and extreme southern Odesskaya Province (Ukraine). Individuals from north-eastern Slovenia (the Mura River) are hybrid forms with Triturus carnifex. It is generally found in lowland areas below 300m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
It is found in open habitats with mixed deciduous forests and groves, bushlands, flooded meadows and swamps, and also in agricultural landscapes and villages, and riparian groves in the steppe regions. It might in some instances be strictly aquatic. This species may coexist with fish in oxbow lakes, river margins and other non-temporary waterbodies, and may also occur in disturbed habitats including those close to human settlement (Griffiths 1996). Reproduction takes place in small ponds with stagnant water, or in channels, ditches and flooded areas. It intergrades with other species of the former Triturus cristatus complex along the contact zones.
In general, populations of this species are rapidly declining as a result of habitat loss.
The main threats to this species are rapid anthropogenic habitat destruction (for example, through drainage and damming), and pollution of its wetland habitats (especially floodplains). Hybridization with other crested newt species at the edge of its range is also a threat. In the southern part of its range, there has been loss of breeding habitats in recent years due to decreased spring rains, perhaps as a result of global climate change.
It is present in a number of protected areas, and in parts of its range mitigation measures to reduce road kill have been established. It is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and is protected by national legislation in some of the areas where it occurs (for example, in Romania).
Red List Status
Near Threatened (NT)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because of widespread habitat loss through much of its range, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
The exact ranges of members of the Triturus cristatus superspecies are unclear in the central Balkans because of narrow or extensive areas of hybridization. Two isolated subspecies have been described, occurring to the east and west of the Iron Gates of the Danube.
Jan Willem Arntzen, Sergius Kuzmin, Robert Jehle, Mathieu Denoël, Brandon Anthony, Claude Miaud, Wiesiek Babik, Milan Vogrin, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev, Dan Cogalniceanu, Tibor Kovács, István Kiss 2009. Triturus dobrogicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T22216A9366668. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T22216A9366668.en .Downloaded on 21 February 2019