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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).

Dr B. Maheshwaran with the sampling device.

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.


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
Bye Bye Butaan


Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >

Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
Monitoring Individuals 3
The best way to monitor individual butaan would be to extract DNA from fresh feces found on the forest floor. We can find the feces but we cannot afford the analysis!


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