Mahabali Frog | Photo: Sandeep Das
Palakkad: A total of 40 species of amphibians and 30 reptiles were discovered in a survey conducted in the Silent Valley forest here. With this, the number of amphibians and reptiles in the valley touched 55 each. The new species were found in a survey carried out under the leadership of forest department with the help of Aranyakam Nature Foundation.
In the survey, Mahabali frogs were found in many locations of the National Park. They are being considered to be declared as the official amphibian of Kerala. 14 species of amphibians including Ponmudi Bush Frog enlisted in the survey are endangered. Several other bush frogs including Wayanad Bush Frog, Mananthavady Bush Frog, Cricket Frog, Night Frog and Malabar Vine Snake were discovered from Silent Valley.
The survey also marks a significant reduction in the numbers of Micrixalus frogs which once thrived in the water bodies in Silent Valley. It has been found that these species were severely affected by the two floods that happened in Kerala recently.
The survey had been conducted in 15 camps set up in the Silent Valley and Bhavani ranges of Silent Valley National Park during both day and night time. It was for the first time such a survey was conducted in Bhavani range.
The survey took place from July 22 to 25. The team of surveyors included forest officials and the representatives of Kerala Veterinary University, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Forestry College, Calicut University and other environmental organisations.