Occurrence patterns of herpetofauna in different habitat types of western Terai Arc Landscape, India

Main Article Content

Gajendra Singh Mehra
Nakulananda Mohanty
Sushil Kumar Dutta


The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is an important region of biodiversity in India. Situated in the foothills of the Himalaya, it is spread across India and Nepal. We describe the herpetofauna of the western part of TAL encompassing Ramnagar Forest Division, which falls in Uttarakhand state of India. We primarily used visual encounter survey method for sampling. A total of 47 species of herpetofauna belonging to three orders, 17 families and 36 genera were recorded from 10 habitat types (6 terrestrial and 4 aquatic). Highest species richness (n=32) was recorded from the human settlement and least (n=4) species richness was reported from pond habitat.  In this paper, the diversity of amphibians and reptiles in each habitat type is discussed.

Article Details



Aguilar, A.V., A.M.C. Gomez & C.A.R. Agudelo (2013). Ecosystem services provided by amphibians and reptiles in neotropical ecosystems. International Journal of Biodiversity Science Ecosystem Service and Management 9(3): 257–272. https://doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2013.821168

Amarasinghe, A.T., S.R. Ganesh, Z.A. Mirza, P.D. Campbell, O.S. Pauwels, S. Schweiger, A. Kupfer, H. Patel, S. Karunarathna, K. Deuti & I.Ineich (2022). The delusion of stripes: A century-old mystery of five-lined sun skinks (Reptilia: Scincidae: Eutropis) of Peninsular India elucidated. ZoologischerAnzeiger 296: 71–90.

Bandara, S.K., S.R. Ganesh, A.S. Kanishka, A.D. Danushka, V.R. Sharma, P.D. Campbell, I. Ineich, G. Vogel & A.T. Amarasinghe (2022). Taxonomic Composition of the Oligodonarnensis (Shaw 1802) Species Complex (Squamata: Colubridae) with the Description of a New Species from India. Herpetologica 78(1): 51–73.

Behangana, M. (2004). The diversity and status of amphibians and reptiles in the Kyoga Lake Basin. African Journal of Ecology 42: 51–56. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2004.00461.x

Bennett, D. (1999). Expedition Field Techniques: Reptiles and Amphibians. EAC, Royal Geographical Society, London, 95 pp.

Bisht, K., S. Garg, A. Sarmah, S. Sengupta & S.D. Biju (2021). Lost, forgotten, and overlooked: systematic reassessment of two lesser-known toad species (Anura, Bufonidae) from Peninsular India and another wide-ranging northern species. Zoosystematics and Evolution 97: 451.

Bowo, R.P., C.A. Navas, M. Tejedo, S.E.S. Valença & S.F. Gouveia (2018). Ecophysiology of Amphibians: Information for Best Mechanistic Models. Diversity 10: 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/d10040118

Crump, M.L.& N.J. Scott Jr. (1994). Visual encounter surveys, pp. 84–92. In: Heyer, W.R., M.A. Donnelly, R.W. McDiarmid, L.C. Hayek & M.S. Foster (eds.). Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard methods for amphibians. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. USA, 383pp.

Daniel, J.C. (2002). The Book of Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 238pp.

Demaynadier, P.G. & M. Hunter (1995). The relationship between forest management and amphibian ecology: a review of the North American literature. Environmental Reviews 3: 230–261.

Ganesh, S.R., K. Deuti, N.S. Achyuthan, P. Campbell, S. Raha, P. Bag & S. Debnath (2021). Taxonomic reassessment of Eutropismacularia (Blyth, 1853) complex in the Western Ghats of India: Resurrection of Eutropisbrevis (Günther, 1875), Eutropisdawsoni (Annandale, 1909) and synonymisation of Eutropisgansi (Das, 1991) (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae). Records of the Zoological Survey of India 121(3): 363–374.

Gibbsons, J.W., D.E. Scott, T.J. Ryan, K.A. Buhlmann, T.D. Tubervilley, B.S. Metts , J.L. Greene, T. Mills, Y. Leiden, S. Poppy & C.T. Winne(2000).The Global Decline of Reptiles, Déjà Vu Amphibians. Biosciences 50(8): 653–666.

Gowande, G., S. Pal, D. Jablonski, R. Masroor, P.U. Phansalkar, P. Dsouza, A. Jayarajan & K. Shanker (2021). Molecular phylogenetics and taxonomic reassessment of the widespread agamid lizard Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802) (Squamata, Agamidae) across South Asia. Vertebrate Zoology 71: 669.

Hall, L.S., P.R. Krausman & M.L. Morrison (1997).The habitat concept and a plea for standard terminology. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25(1): 173–182.

Jhala, Y.V., Q. Qureshi & R. Gopal (2015). The status of tigers, copredators and prey in India 2014. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, 460pp.

Karunarathna, D.M.S.S., U.T.I. Abeywardena, M.D.C. Asela & L.D.C. Kekulandala (2008). A preliminary survey of the Amphibian fauna in Nilgala Forest Area and its vicinity, Monaragala district, Sri Lanka. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 3(2): 264–272.

Kottawa-Arachchi, J.D., R. Gamage, G.G. Jayathilake & H.S.V. Hiripitiya (2014). Importance of different habitats for herpetofauna in tea plantation ecosystem in Mattakelle tea estate, Sri Lanka, pp. 197–201. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Agriculture and Environment. University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.

Krausman, P.R. (1999). Some Basic principles of habitat use. In: K.L. Launchbaugh, K.D. Sanders, J.C. Mosley (eds). Grazing Behavior of Livestock and Wildlife. Idaho Forest, Wildlife & Range Exp. Sta. Bull. Monograph No. 70, University of Idaho, Moscow, 86pp.

Lajmi, A., V.B. Giri & K.P. Karanth (2016).Molecular data in conjunction with morphology help resolve the Hemidactylusbrookii complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Organisms Diversity & Evolution 16(3): 659–677.

Langen, T.A., K.M. Ogden & L.L. Schwarting (2009). Predicting hot spots of herpetofauna road mortality along highway networks. Journal of Wildlife Management 73(1): 104–114.

Masindai, I.M. (2014). An assessment of diversity, abundance, and distribution of the herpetofauna in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. M.S. Thesis. Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, 116 pp.

Odum, E.P. (1971). Fundamentals of Ecology - 3rd Edition. W.B. Sanders Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 574pp.

Olson, D. & E. Dinerstein (1998). The Global 200: A representation approach to conserving the Earth’s most biologically valuable Ecoregions. Conservation Biology 12: 502–515.

Olson, D. & E. Dinerstein (2002). The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. Annals of Missouri Botanical Garden 89(2): 199–224.

Poudyal, L.P. & H. Chaudhary (2019). Birds of Shuklaphanta National Park: Calligraphic design studio, Kathmandu, Nepal, 155pp.

Ramesh, T., K.J. Hussain, K.K. Satpathy & M. Selvanayagam (2013). Community composition and distribution of herpetofauna at Kalpakkam Nuclear campus, Southern India. Herpetology Notes 6: 343–351.

Segura, C., M.N. Feriche, J.M. Pleguezuelos & X. Santos(2007).Specialist and generalist species in habitat use: Implications for conservation assessment in snakes. Journal of Natural History 41(4): 2765–2774. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222930701664203

Semwal,R.L. (2005). The Terai Arc Landscape in India: Securing protected areas in the face of global change. WWF India, New Delhi, 47 pp.

Sutherland, W.J. (2006). Ecological census Techniques. Cambridge University Press, London, United Kingdom, 411 pp.

Vasudevan, K. & S. Sondhi (2010). Amphibians and Reptiles of Uttarakhand, India. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, 94 pp.

Most read articles by the same author(s)