19 amphibian species are critically endangered: ZSI list

Ecologists call for more field studies to fill in missing data

January 21, 2019 08:29 pm | Updated 08:29 pm IST - Panaji

Fejervarya goemchi, a species recently discovered in Goa.

Fejervarya goemchi, a species recently discovered in Goa.

An updated list of Indian amphibians was released on the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) website last week, with 19 species being treated as critically endangered and 33 species as endangered.

Nirmal U. Kulkarni, a herpetologist and conservationist from Mhadei Reseach Centre said, “Since 2009, the scientists of the ZSI in collaboration with other institutes have been updating the Indian amphibian checklist periodically. In 2009, the total number of species listed was 284. In 2010 it was 311, in 2011 it was 314, in 2012 and 2013 it was 342, in 2015 it was 384 and in 2017 it was 405 species.”

The list also notes if the species are in danger, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

IUCN status

The current list bears the names of 432 amphibian species from India, the year of discovery and their IUCN ‘red list’ conservation status.

Among the amphibians listed, 19 species are treated as critically endangered and 33 species as endangered, Mr. Kulkarni said, noting that the list describes 19% of amphibians as data deficient species and 39% as not assessed by the IUCN.

“It is high time that we assess the IUCN status for the Indian ‘not assessed’ amphibians (169 species) based on species-specific field exploration,” said the conservationist, who conducts studies along the Mahadayi of the Western Ghats. The list has been compiled by several scientists, including K.P. Dinesh from the Zoological Survey of India (Western Regional Centre, Pune); C. Radhakrishnan from Calicut, B.H. Channakeshavamurthy from ZSI Calicut, P. Deepak from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, and Mr. Kulkarni himself.

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