ZSI lists 20 species of amphibians as 'critically endangered'

    Panaji, May 17 (PTI) The Zoological Survey of India
has posted an updated checklist of Indian amphibians on its
website, listing 20 species as critically endangered and 35
as 'endangered', an official said on Sunday.
    The 20 'critically endangered' amphibians include some
species of frogs found in the Western Ghats of Kerala,
Maharashtra and Karnataka and in some hills of the north east,
he said.
    The number of amphibian species recorded in the
comprehensive checklist, uploaded on the Zoological Survey of
India's (ZSI) website on Friday, has gone up from 284 in 2009
to 447 now, Goa-based environmentalist Nirmal U Kulkarni, who
was part of the checklist updation exercise, said.
    "Among the amphibians listed, 20 species are
'critically endangered' and 35 species as 'endangered', he
    These includeRaorchestes resplendens, a shrubfrog
found in the high altitude region around the south Indian peak
of Anamudi in Kerala, Raorchestes kaikatti, also known as the
Kaikattibushfrogfound only in the Nelliyampathy hills in the
Western Ghats of Kerala and Raorchestes shillongensis species
found in Shillong.
    Besides, Pseudophilautus amboli, a rare shrub frog
species endemic to the Western Ghats atAmboliin Maharashtra
and Jog Falls and Kudremukh in Karnataka, has also been termed
as critically endangered, Kulkarni said.
    The updated comprehensive checklist will help
herpetology students, researchers, conservation scientists and
policy makers to understand the diversity of Indian amphibians
and their up-to-date nomenclature, he said.
    The new updated checklist has also highlighted 19 per
cent of amphibians as 'data deficient' species and about 39
per cent as 'not assessed', as per red list conservation
status of the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN), he said.
    A data deficient species is one which has been
categorised by the IUCN as offering insufficient information
for a proper assessment of conservation status to be made.
    "It is high time to assess the IUCN conservation
status for the Indian 'data deficient' 19 per cent, which are
86 species, and 'not assessed 39 per cent, which are 175
species, of amphibians based on species specific field
explorations, Kulkarni said.
    Since 2009, ZSI scientists in collaboration with other
Indian institutes have been updating the Indian amphibian
checklist periodically as per the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), he added.
    The checklist has been compiled by research scientists
K P Dinesh from ZSI's western regional centre at Pune, C
Radhakrishnan from Calicut, B H Channakeshavamurthy from ZSI,
Calicut, P Deepak from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru,and
Nirmal Kulkarni from the Mhadei Research Centre in Goa. PTI

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)