Herpetofauna assemblage in two watershed areas of Kumoan Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

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Kaleem Ahmed
Jamal A. Khan


We surveyed herpetofauna along the poorly-explored region of two watersheds of Kumoan Himalaya, Dabka and Khulgarh.  Adaptive cluster method was used to collect forest floor reptiles, and stream transect was used for stream reptiles and amphibians.  In total, 18 species of reptiles were recorded in two watersheds, with 15 and nine species recorded in Dabka and Khulgarh, respectively.  Forest floor density of reptiles was 87.5/ha in Dabka and 77.7/ha in Khulgarh.  In terms of species, Asymblepharus ladacensis and Lygosoma punctatus density were highest in Dabka and Khulgarh, respectively.  Eight species of amphibians were recorded in Dabka with a density of 9.4/ha and four species in Khulgarh with density of 5.2/ha.  In both watersheds, density of Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis was highest.  Reptilian and amphibian diversity of Dabka was 1.52 and 1.23, respectively, and in Khulgarh 0.43 and 0.23, respectively.  In both watersheds reptile density, diversity and richness decreased with increasing elevation.  Reptile density showed a weak correlation with microhabitat features such as litter cover, litter depth, and soil moisture in both watersheds.  Amphibian density was positively correlated with soil moisture, litter cover, and litter depth.  Comparison showed that Dabka is richer and more diverse than Khulgarh, presumably because of the undisturbed habitat, broad and slow stream, and deeper forest litter of the former.

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