Press Esc to close
Wednesday 25 January 2017
News updated at 12:35 AM IST
Weather
Max: 29.5°C
Min : 15.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Hunt on for India's most wanted frogs

Last updated: 31 October, 2010
New Delhi, October 31, DH News Service :

Lost species

They were once all over, but now, only real keen eyes can spot them. So are they extinct or are they hiding in places far from the madding boom of human civilisation?

The search will be for 47 lost amphibians who vanished over the last 175 years.To answer this million-dollar question, Indian frog researchers are all set to start a field mission called ‘the lost amphibians of India’ that will be launched at an academic conference on Tuesday.

Researchers in this multi-institutional field biology trip would venture into deep forests and climb up the hills to look for some of the country’s “most wanted” amphibians.

The search will be exclusively for 47 lost amphibians—39 frogs and 8 tiny snake-like caecilians—who vanished from different Indian states in the last 175 years. Of this 47, as many as eight frog species were last seen in Karnataka.

The oldest in the list is a frog seen last in Bengal in 1834, while the youngest is a caecilian that was seen till 1992 in Kerala’s Chegalam village. Nobody knows whether they have really become extinct or they have migrated to a different location.

For some amphibians, either a dead sample or at least a sketch is available, but for five of them, nothing exists barring their descriptions in academic literature.

“Amphibians that successfully survived through millions of years are currently on a decline. The commonest reason for the declining rate, which is the highest for any animal group, is man-made changes to the natural world,” said S D Biju, a Delhi University professor who found many new frog and amphibians species from across the country in the last two decades.

Globally, one in three frog species faces extinction. This is a great conservation responsibility that has to be addressed effectively because amphibians are some of the first animal groups to be hit when ecological damage crosses a critical threshold. “Their decline is a silent but significant ecological alarm call,” he said.

What adds to the risk is the fact that many species are found in a single location, which may be the last habitat these species have. And if this, too, is lost, they will be pushed to extinction.

The scenario here is unique, as 60 per cent of Indian amphibians are not found in any other part of the world, and among them, over 50 are considered threatened. But similar to the rest of the world, India is on a fast lane of amphibian decline. The Western Ghats is one such vulnerable region.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Actor Shah Rukh Khan travels from Mumbai to Delhi in August Kranti Rajdhani Express while...

Actor Shah Rukh Khan travels from Mumbai to Delhi in August Kranti Rajdhani Express while...

11-month-old Pacific harbor seal named Ziggy. Ziggy was only a day old and still had her...

11-month-old Pacific harbor seal named Ziggy. Ziggy was only a day old and still had her...

Students perform during full dress rehearsal for Republic Day function in Gurugram on Tuesday...

Students perform during full dress rehearsal for Republic Day function in Gurugram on Tuesday...

An expert horse rider from Madhya Pradesh Equestrian Academy showing his skills during full dress...

An expert horse rider from Madhya Pradesh Equestrian Academy showing his skills during full dress...

Army personnels participate in full dress rehearsal for Republic day parade at Indira Gandhi...

Army personnels participate in full dress rehearsal for Republic day parade at Indira Gandhi...

Jammu and Kashmir Police contingent marching past at snow-covered field during full dress...

Jammu and Kashmir Police contingent marching past at snow-covered field during full dress...

A security jawan guards near Taj Mahal in Agra on Tuesday ahead of Republic Day...

A security jawan guards near Taj Mahal in Agra on Tuesday ahead of Republic Day...

A wild elephant separated from its group wanderers in Birbhum forest range on Tuesday...

A wild elephant separated from its group wanderers in Birbhum forest range on Tuesday...

The guided Pinaka rocket is successfully test-fired for the second time from launch complex-III...

The guided Pinaka rocket is successfully test-fired for the second time from launch complex-III...

Tamil film actor Kamal Haasan expressing his support to the student for Jallikattu during a press...

Tamil film actor Kamal Haasan expressing his support to the student for Jallikattu during a press...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523