HYDERABAD: For the first time, as many as 98 species of amphibians, lizards, and snakes were found in Telangana, according to a study published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
Researchers found 16 frog and toad species from four families, one crocodile species, six turtle and tortoise species, 35 lizard species, and 40 snake species
in the state. The research publication was co-authored by Dr. G. Chethan Kumar, whose Ph.D. was based on endemic large-bodied Hemidactylus lizards under
Dr. C. Srinivasulu.
According to the study, frogs, toads, lizards, and snakes, known collectively as 'herpetofauna,' are an integral part of the food pyramid because they play an important role in the ecosystem. These species aid in the control of pest insect and rodent populations that cause damage to both standing crops and stored grains.
"This work for the first time documents the herpetofauna in total and provides the baseline database on this important group of animals," said Dr C. Srinivasulu, lead author of the research paper and associate professor of Zoology and head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation at Osmania University.
Dr Srinivasulu reported that three species of lizards, Hemidactylus flavicaudus, Hemidactylus xericolus, and Hemidactylus aemulus, are endemic to Telangana among the 98 species of herpetofauna documented from the state.
"For ease of understanding, we provide the accepted English name, the Telugu name, IUCN status, whether or not the species is included in the Indian Wildlife Protection Act and CITES, and endemicity. Species that are traded internationally are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which is an international agreement between governments to ensure that trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species,” he stated....