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

Main Article Content

Kaleem Ahmed
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5555-2310
Jamal A. Khan

Abstract

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.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Ahmed, K. and Khan, J.A. 2021. Herpetofauna assemblage in two watershed areas of Kumoan Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 2 (Feb. 2021), 17684–17692. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5587.13.2.17684-17692.
Section
Communications

References

Ahmed, K. (2010). A study on faunal diversity of Dabka and Khulgarh Watershed Areas of Kumoan Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India. PhD Dissertation, Department of Wildlife Sciences, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, 274pp.

Ahmed, M.F., A. Das & S.K. Duta (2009). Amphibians and Reptles of Northeast India. A Photographic Guide. Aaranyak, Guwahat, India, 169pp.

Balaji, D., R. Sreekar & S. Rao (2014). Drivers of reptile and amphibian assemblages outside the protected areas of Western Ghats, India. Journal of Nature Conservation 22: 337–341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2014.03.004

Bhupathy, S. & P. Kannan (1997). Status of agamid lizards in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Technical Report No. 5, Coimbatore.

Bhupathy, S., V.J. Jins, S. Babu & J. Jose (2016). Distribution and conservation status of the caenophidian snake, Xylophis captaini Gower & Winkler, 2007 in the Western Ghats, India. Current Science 110: 908–912.

Block, W.M. & M. Morrison (1998). Habitat relationship of amphibians and reptiles in California Oak Woodlands. Journal of Herpetology 32: 51–60.

Chaitanya, R., A. Khandekar, D.G. Caleb, N. Mukherjee, A. Ghosh & V. Giri (2018). Herpetofauna of the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, southern Western Ghats, India: an updated checklist with annotations on taxonomy and nomenclature. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 115: 21–37.

Chandramouli, S.R. & S.R. Ganesh (2010). Herpetofauna of southern Western Ghats, India-reinvestigated after decades. Taprobanica 2(2): 8–21.

Chettri, B., S. Bhupathy & B.K. Acharya (2010). Distribution pattern of reptiles along an eastern Himalayan elevation gradient, India. Acta Oecologica 36: 16–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2009.09.004

Dar, T.A., J.A. Khan, B. Habib, S.P.S. Khushwaha & N. Mendiritta (2008). Assessment of herpetofaunal assemblage in Phakat and Pathri Rao Watershed Areas, Uttarakhand, India. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Science 34: 207–213.

Das, A., S. Uttam, B.H.C.K. Murthy, S. Dey & S.K. Dutta (2009). A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad 34(1): 117–134.

Fauth, J.B., B.I. Crother & J.B. Slkowinski (1989). Elevational patterns of species richness, evenness and abundance of Costa Rican leaf-litter herpetofauna. Biotropica 21: 178–185.

Ganesh, S.R. & N.S. Achyuthan (2020). A new species of shieldtail snake (Reptilia: Squamata: Uropeltidae) from Kolli Hill complex, southern Eastern Ghats, peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 12(4): 15436–15442. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5680.12.4.15436-15442

Ganesh, S.R., A. Kalaimani, P. Karthik, N. Baskaran, R. Nagarajan & S.R. Chandramouli (2018). Herpetofauna of southern Eastern Ghats, India – II from Western Ghats to Coromandel Coast, Asian Journal of Conservation Biology 7(1): 28–45.

Garg, S. & S.D. Biju (2017). Description of four new species of Burrowing Frogs in the Fejervarya rufescens complex (Dicroglossidae) with notes on morphological affinities of Fejervarya species in the Western Ghats. Zootaxa 4277(4):45–490. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4277.4.1

Gautam, B., M.K Chalise, K.B Thapa & S. Bhattarai (2020). Distributional Patterns of Amphibians and Reptiles in Ghandruk, Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27(1): 18–28

Gibbons, J.W., D.E. Scott, T.J. Ryan, K.A. Buhlmann, T.D. Tuberville, B. Metts, J.L. Greene, T.M. Mills, Y. Leiden, S.M. Poppy & C.T. Winne (2000). The global decline of reptiles, deja’ vu amphibians. Bioscience 50: 653–666.

Harikrishnan, S., D. Mudappa & T.R.S. Raman (2018). Herpetofaunal survey in rainforest remnants of the Western Ghats, India. The Herpetological Bulletin 146: 8–17.

Hecnar, S.J. & R.T. M’Closkey (1998). Species richness patterns of amphibians in southwestern Ontario ponds. Journal of Biogeography 25: 763–772. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2699.1998.2540763.x

Hill, D., M. Fasham, G. Tucker, M. Shewry & P. Shaw (Eds.) (2005). Handbook of Biodiversity Methods Survey, Evaluation and Monitoring. Cambridge University Press, 573pp.

Hofer, U., L.F. Bersier & D. Borcard (1999). Spatial organization of a herpetofauna on an elevational gradient revealed by null model tests. Ecology 80: 976–988.

Inger, R.F. (1980). Density of floor dwelling frogs and lizards in lowland forests of Southeast Asia & Central America. American Naturalist 115: 761–770.

Inger, R.F., H.B. Shaffer, M. Koshy & R. Bakde (1984). A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from Ponmudi, Kerala, south India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 81: 406–570.

Ishwar, N.M., A. Kumar & R. Chellam (2001). Distribution of forest floor reptiles in the rainforest of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, south India. Current Science 80: 413–418.

Khatiwada, J.R., T. Zhao, Y. Chen, B. Wang, F. Xie, D.C. Cannatella & J. Jiang (2019). Amphibian community structure along elevation gradients in eastern Nepal Himalaya. BMC Ecology 19: 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12898-019-0234-z

Kumar, A., R. Chellam, B.C. Choudhury, D. Mudappa, K. Vasudevan, N.M. Ishwar & B.R. Noon (2002). Impact of rainforest fragmentation on small mammals and herpetofauna in the Western Ghats, south India. A Summary of Research Findings. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, 142pp.

Lieberman, S. & C.F. Dock (1982). Analysis of the leaf litter arthropod fauna of a lowland evergreen forest site (La Selva, Costa Rica). Revista de Biologia Tropical 30 :27–34.

Lieberman, S.S. (1986). Ecology of the leaf litter herpetofauna of a Neotropical rain forest (La Selva, Costa Rica). Acta Zoologica Mexicana 15:1–71.

Lima, S.L. & L.M. Dill (1990). Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation: a review and prospectus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 68: 619–640.

Mallik, A.K., N.S. Achyuthan, S.R. Ganesh, S.P. Pal, S.P. Vijayakumar & K. Shanker (2019). Discovery of a deeply divergent new lineage of vine snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae: Proahaetulla gen. nov.) from the southern Western Ghats of peninsular India with a revised key for Ahaetuliinae. PLoS one 14(7): e0218851. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0218851

Mani, M.S. (1974). Ecology and Biogeography in India. Dr. W. Junk. Publishers, The Hague, Netherlands, 771pp.

Murali, R. & T.S. Raman (2012). CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Streamside amphibian communities in plantations and a rainforest fragment in the Anamalai Hills, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(9): 2849–2856. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2829.2849-56

Murthy, T.S.N. & B.D. Sharma (1976). A contribution to the herpetology of Jammu and Kashmir. British Journal of Herpetology 5: 533–538.

Myers, G.S. (1942). A new frog from the Anamallai Hills, with notes on other frogs and some snakes from south India. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 55: 49–56.

Naniwadekar, R. & K. Vasudevan (2007). Patterns in diversity of anurans along an elevational gradient in the Western Ghats, South India. Journal of Biogeography 34: 842–853. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01648.x

Navas, C.A. (2003). Herpetological diversity along Andean elevational gradients: links with physiological ecology and evolutionary physiology. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 133: 469–485.

Negi, R.K. & H.S. Banyal (2016). A Preliminary Study of Herpetofauna of Rakchham-Chhitkul Wildlife Sanctuary in Trans-Himalayan Baspa (Sangla) Valley, District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science 4(11): 145–149.

Pan, H., B. Chettri, D. Yang, K. Jiang, K. Wang, L. Zhang & G. Vogel (2013). A new species of the genus Protobothrops (Squamata: Viperidae) from southern Tibet, China and Sikkim, India. Asian Herpetological Research 4(2): 109–115.

Pawar, S., M.S. Koo, C. Kelley, M.F. Ahmed, S. Chaudhuri & S. Sarkar (2007). Conservation assessment and prioritization of areas in Northeast India: Priorities for amphibians and reptiles. Biological Conservation 136: 346–361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2006.12.012

Porter, K.R. (1972). Herpetology. W.B. Saunders, Co., Philadelphia, 524pp.

Purkayastha, J., M. Das & S. Sengupta (2011). Urban herpetofauna: a case study in Guwahati City of Assam, India, Herpetology Notes 4: 195–202.

Roy, J.K., R.H. Begum & M.F. Ahmed (2018). Amphibians of the Dibang River Basin, Arunachal Pradesh: an annotated checklist with distribution records. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(15): 12940–12952. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4249.10.15.12940-12952

Saikia, U., D.K. Sharma & R.M. Sharma (2007). Checklist of the reptilian fauna of Himachal Pradesh, India. Reptile Rap 8: 6–9.

Santra, V., J.B. Owens, S. Graham, W. Wüster, S. Kuttalam, O. Bharti, M. Selvan, N. Mukherjee & A. Malhotra (2019). Confirmation of Naja oxiana in Himachal Pradesh, India. The Herpetological Bulletin 150: 26–28.

Schenider, R.L., M.E. Krasny, & S.J. Morreale (2001). Hands-on Herpetology: Exploring Ecology and Conservation. NSTA Press, Arlington, 149pp.

Vasudevan, K., A. Kumar & R. Chellam (2006). Species turnover: The case of stream amphibians of rainforests in the Western Ghats, southern India. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 3515–3525.

Vasudevan, K., A. Kumar & R. Chellam (2001). Structure and composition of rainforest floor amphibian communities in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Current Science 80: 406–412.

Venugopal, P.D. (2010). Population density estimates of agamid lizards in human-modified habitats of the Western Ghats, India. The Herpetological Journal 20: 69–76.

Vogel, G. & S.R. Ganesh (2013). A new species of cat snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from dry forests of eastern peninsular India. Zootaxa 3637(2): 158–168. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3637.2.6