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Frogs of Coorg Print E-mail
  The Western Ghats are a chain of mountains running from Bombay to the southern tip of India. They are home to some of the most diverse frog communities on Earth. Over 90% of the species there are found nowhere else, and there is evidence that individual hilltops harbour unique species. We produced a multimedia guide to the amphibians of Coorg that includes advertisment calls and details of larval stages. Visit the Frogs of Coorg Website!>
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Background: The Western Ghats are a chain of mountains running from Bombay to the southern tip of India. They are home to some of the most diverse frog communities on Earth. Over 90% of the species there are found nowhere else, and there is evidence that individual hilltops harbour unique species.

The Problem: It is likely that most frogs of the Western Ghats remain unknown to science. The taxonomy of amphibians in India is a neglected subject and as a result identifying species is a difficult task. The forests of the Western Ghats have been largely cleared, leaving isolated fragments of habitat and it seems inevitable that highly localised species will become extinct without ever being discovered. At present surveys of amphibians communities are rarely carried out, and often suffer from taxonomic uncertainities and methodological flaws which make comparisons of quantititve data between communities impossible.

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Rhacophorus lateralis, rediscovered in the Western Ghats after 120 years


Our Solution: Develop methods for surveying large and complex amphibian populations in an easily repeatable manner. Make amphibians easy to identify by producing guides to the frogs of the area that include pictures of animals at all stages in life, together with samples of their advertisement calls. Use these media to publicise the fact that amphibians in the area are of world-wide importance.


 
 

 

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The mampam website has been running for 16 years and aims to provide full details of projects at no charge. All out of print books and multimedia guides are provided here and full image archives are being developed for each project. This will complete the website's mission.

 

 
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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Background and History
butaan2.jpgThe butaan was first described to science in 1845 from a juvenile specimen collected by Hugh Cuming. It was labelled only "Philippines". It was named Varanus grayi.  No other specimens came to light for over 120 years. In the 1970s Walter Auffenberg found another specimen with a location in Luzon, established that its correct scientific name was Varanus olivaceus, and undertook a 22 month study of the species based in Bicol. His study revealed that butaan occupy a unique ecological niche and have a lifestyle quite unlike any other monitor lizard. Auffenberg used local hunters with dogs to catch the animals. Of 126 butaan caught during his study, 116 animals were killed.
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