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| Last Updated:: 07/10/2014

City scientists find new frog species near Amboli



Pune:  A new species of leaping frog has been discovered in the northern part of the Western Ghats region near Amboli. Christened the `Amboli Leaping Frog' or the Indirana Chiravasi, the new species inhabits laterite plateaus.


A team of three scientists from city-based Indian Institute of Science and Research (IISER) Pune and MES Abasaheb Garware College made the recent discovery. Their work was published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on September 26.


Neelesh Dahanukar, one of the researchers and a scientist at IISER Pune, said the discovery is significant as not many species of animals have been discovered in the northern part of the Western Ghats.


“Southern Western Ghats is the region that is usually associated with biodiversity. We hope that our discovery will change this perception,“ he said.


Dahanukar pointed to various disruptive practices in these regions that have put many organisms under threat. “They may become extinct before we even know about them,“ he said.


The Amboli leaping frog has distinct webbed patterns on its foot. While its close relatives have two internal vocal sacs, this particular species has a single sac, which it uses for mating calls.


Dahanukar explained that it was initially believed that only one frog species existed throughout the Western Ghats.


“Discoveries of new species will help various frog and toad species attain prominence in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) list of threatened or least conserved species.“



Anand D Pandhye of Garware College and PhD student Nikhil Modak, also from Garware College, worked with Dahanukar on this project.