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Frogs of Coorg Print E-mail

20th Century amphibian surveyors have relied largely on large area transects to document populations. We find these methods very ineffective because animals leave the area before they can be recorded, a large number are simply overlooked and the microhabitat is difficult to describe accurately. Quite simply it is impossible to search large areas properly. Instead we developed a method which utilises a cubic meter volume from which frogs are unable to escape, easy to find and microhabitat type can be characterised easily. This method allows large hetereogenous habitats to be sampled without bias and ensures that amphibians are not overlooked. The equipment needed is both simple and inexpensive (less than US$2).

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Dr B. Maheshwaran with the sampling device.
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As well as taking photographs of adult and juvenile frogs we raised large numbers of tadpoles and documented each stage. Being able to identify tadpoles is essential if we are ever to understand why amphibians disappear when their habitat is altered.

Previously no recordings of Indian amphibian calls were available. Calls are particularly useful in the study of the rarest members of the community, because they tend to be arboreal or cryptic species, that are usually overlooked in rapid assessments. Calls are also invaluable in determining the taxonomic status of some groups, which contain many species that look very similar, but attract mates using very different songs.

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We chose a coffee estate bordering Nagarhole National Park for this project because we wanted to sample both undisturbed and agricultural areas. Using this methodology we were able to estimate amphibian diversity, density and biomass in a wide range of habitats. The result was one of the most detailed studies of a single amphibian community ever carried out in Asia.

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Cassettes, cds and magazine articles about the frogs of Coorg have been distributed to many people in the area, particularly on coffee estates where thoughtful management can allow many frog species to survive that would otherwise be driven extinct.




 
 

 

About Mampam
Savannah Monitor Book

 

Our pet-owners' guide to savannah monitor lizard is the first ever written by people who have studied the animals in the wild and bred them in captivity. There are at least seven books in print about the savannah monitor, but we think this is the only one worth reading! Last few available 

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Worldwide orders available

 

 
Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project

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Since 1999 the Butaan Project has been studying the rare, endangered, and unique fruit-eating monitor lizards of the Philippines.  Butaan is just one of several races of frugivorous monitor lizards in the Philippines ("Pandan Biawak"), all of which are of at least as great a conservation concern as the Komodo dragon, but receive virtually none of the attention. Pandan Biawak occur only in lowland dipterocarp forest. The first species (Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Mabitang) was discovered in 2001. Other species remain undescribed, and some may have gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

 

 

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