Common fire salamander

Salamandra salamandra




E bukura e dheut

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Not evaluated Data deficient LEAST CONCERN Near threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Salamandra salamandra


(Linnaeus, 1758)



Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

LC – Least Concern

Date assessed

November 2019


Bogoljub Sterijovski

Dragan Arsovski


Crnobrnja-Isailović, J.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The Fire Salamander is widespread across North Macedonia, but its habitats and therefore populations are facing threats of fragmentation due to the destruction of forests, bush groves and meadows, and the drainage and pollution of its aquatic breeding sites. This amphibian is also threatened from the construction and seemingly uncontrolled function of small hydro-electric power plants that often fail to provide the ecological water level minimum in the amphibian breeding centers it affects. Nevertheless, the Fire Salamander is still seemingly quite abundant where present, and furthermore, it can be found in all neighboring countries, and can thus benefit from regional rescue effects. Consequently, it has been assessed as Least Concern. Globally and in Europe this species has been assessed as Least Concern. Globally and in Europe this species has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



Preliminary monitoring studies suggest stable population trends (unpublished data) and no fragmentation.

Habitat and Ecology


Terrestrial|Freshwater (=Inland waters)

Habitat and Ecology

It is associated with wet cool deciduous, mixed, or rarely, coniferous forests with well shaded brooks and small rivers. Within the mountain forest belt, the species can be found in woodlands, glades and forest edges, rocky slopes, dense bush, and herbaceous vegetation. The species prefers micro-habitats covered with dense leaf-litter and moss. In general, females give birth to well-developed larvae, that complete metamorphosis in streams, ponds and still waters. The species does tolerate some habitat modification and has even been found in gardens. The Fire Salamander is active from mid March until beginning of October. Activity can be delayed and shortened at high altitudes. starting from mid-April until mid-September.

Use and trade

Use and trade

In several sporadic cases in Skopje, it was found on offer in pet-shops.



The principal threats include localized general habitat destruction, negative forest management, and pollution of breeding sites by agrochemicals, collection for commercial purposes (i.e., the pet trade), introduction of predatory species and population fragmentation. The mortality of adults on roads is a localized threat in some parts of its range.
According to Sterijovski (2015) modification and fragmentation of habitats, especially at and around the reproductive centers, has been a historical threat that remains today as well. Climate change can pose serious threats to this species, particularly if it affects some of its refugia such as Taor Gorge, Treska River Gorge, Crna River, along with the gorges of Raec and Blasnica Rivers, then Jama, Mavrovo-Radika region, Mt. Baba, the Ohrid-Prespa region, and the mountain range of Nidze and Kozuf (MoEPP, 2003a; 2003b).
Finally and unfortunately, the fungal threats Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans were recently detected in the Balkan Peninsula. These cause the disease known as  Chytridiomycosis (Whittaker and Vredenburg, 2016) in amphibians. Studies have shown that climate change facilitates the spread of this disease (Pounds, A. 2006), and scientist suggest that pesticides may inhibit the innate immune defense, and increase susceptibility to this disease (Davidson et al. 2007). This calls for urgent preventative matters, primarily in the form of monitoring so that initial signs of the fungus in North Macedonia are caught timely and quarantined.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

This species is listed on Appendix III of the Bern Convention. This species is not protected by national legislation.
According to the “Strategy for biodiversity of Republic of North Macedonia” (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018) swamps, particularly high-altitude swaps are affected by degradation as a result of land conversion due to the intensification of agriculture, water supply shortage, irrigation, fish stocking, lack of waste water treatment and construction activities. Action plans for the conservation of the Fire Salamander’s reproductive centers, i.e. wetlands are urgently needed.
The national action for the “prevention of loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats of national and international importance” prioritizes the following actions (Ministry of environment and physical planning, 2018):
o   10.4 Protection and restoration of swamp habitats/wetlands and riparian habitats
o   10.4.1 Identification of the most affected lowland swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation
o   10.4.2 Identification of the most affected high-altitude swamps/wetlands and preparation of action plans for their conservation
o   10.4.3 Development of a plan and implementation of activities for the prevention of swamp and wetland degradation due to intensification of agriculture, irrigation, fish stocking and other activities of the economic sectors
o   10.4.4 Implementation of pilot measures for the restoration of wetlands



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Sterijovski, B. 2015. Conservation and protection status of amphibians in Macedonia. Pelagic Publishing. Exeter, UK. .p 67-73.

Doflein, F. 1921. Mazedonien, Erlebnisse und beobachtungen eines Naturforschers im gefolge des Deutschen heeres Verlang von Gustav Fischer Jena. .p 592.

Melovski, Lj., Ivanov, Gj., Angelova, N., Velevski, M., Hristovski, S. 2008. Monospitovsko blato. Poslednoto mocuriste vo Makedonija. Opstina Bosilovo. Bosilovo. .p 56.

Sidorovska, V., Petkovski, S.,Dzukic, G., Smith, R. D. 2006. The Pelister Dragon: Faunal and Zoogeographical Characteristics of Mt. Pelister Amphibians and Reptiles . .p 65-94.

Sterijovski, B., Stamatoski, B. 2002b. Results of the herpetological investigation on Ogražden Mt.. . .p 155-158.

Sterijovski, B., Stamatoski, B., Tokov, T. 2003. Rezultati od kvalitativnite istražuvanja na herpetofaunata na planinata Bistra [Results of the qualitative research of the herpetofauna on Bistra Mt.. . .p 67-70.

Sterijovski, B., Aleksovska, K., Tasevski, S. 2010b. Distribution and valorization of amphibians and reptiles on Jablanica Mountain . .p 81-85.

Sterijovski, B., Malceska, F., Tokov, T., Stamatoski, B., Tasevski, S. 2010a. Qualitative research of Amphibians and Reptiles on Kozuf massive. .p 87-93.

ES “Ursus Speleos”-Skopje. 2011. Study for valorization of natural values of Multipurpose Area “Jasen”. GEF/UNDP/MoEPP. Skopje. .p 150.

MoEPP.2010a. Study of revaluation of natural values of the Protected Area Monument of Nature “Canyon Matka” MoEPP Skopje . .p/.

Oxfam Italia. 2011. Study for revalorization of Protected Area Mavrovo. Skopje . .p/.

Uzunova, D., Kitanova, D., Spirovska, M., Hristovski, S 2015 Integral Report for the Project implementation. Final report of the project “Ecological data gap analysis and ecological sensitivity map development for the Bregalnica river watershed”. Skopje . .p/.

Sterijovski, B. 2018. Final report for monitoring .Maneko .Skopje . .p/.

Uhrin et al. 2016. Distribution updates to amphibian and reptile fauna for the Republic of Macedonia . .p 201-220.

Ministry of environment and physical planning. 2018. National biodiversity strategy and action plan : for the period 2018 – 2023. Ministry of environment and physical planning .Skopje. .p 183.

Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. 2003a. Country study of biodiversity of the Republic of Macedonia. First National Report. Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. Skopje. .p 218.

Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. 2003b. Biodiversity strategy and action plan for the Republic of Macedonia Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. Skopje. .p 134.

Whittaker, Kellie & Vredenburg, Vance. 2016. “An Overview of Chytridiomycosis”
Pounds, A. 2006. Widespread Amphibian Extinctions from Epidemic Disease Driven by Global Warming . .p 161-167.

Davidson, C., Benard, M.F., Shaffer, H.B., Parker, J.M., O’Leary, C., Conlon, J.M., Rollins-Smith, L.A. 2007 .Effects of chytrid and carbaryl exposure on survival, growth and skin peptide defenses in foothill yellow-legged frogs . .p 1771-1776.

Gasc, J-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.L., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M., Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica & Museum Nationall d’ Histoire Naturelle (IEGB/SPN). Paris. .p 496.