Status Survey of Clouded Leopard and Hodgson Flying Squirrel, in Neora Valley National Park
Out of the 209 amphibian species of India, the Himalayan Salamander, Tylototriton Verrucosus Anderson is the only one in which the larval tail is retained through out its life as it totally aquatic ancestors and therefore regarded as a living fossil. The species is included in the Scheduled II of Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
During the course of the study of the project ‘Estimation of population trends of Endangered Wildlife of West Bengal’ sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi, investigating team of NEWS had found that populations of Himalayan Salamander has declined or even totally wiped out from many of its erstwhile habitat. Most of these habitats have totally been destroyed or are located near some urban areas or tourist spots. Local boys used to collect Salamanders and sell them to the tourists.
But NEWS team also found a fairly good population of Salamanders in Namthing Pokhri Area. Namthing Pokhri is a small seasonal water body of the eastern Himalaya in Kurseong Division, Darjeeling District. it lies at an altitude of 1500 m. The region is scarcely populated.
Funded By: Dept. of Forests, Govt. of West Bengal
Project Duration: 1.5yr
- To study the preference of habitats and microhabitat by the species and the physico-chemical parameters of land & water.
- Construction of fencing encompassing the Pokhri so that no one can intrude without permission.
- Establishment of a laboratory and herpetorium to study the behaviour and carry out captive breeding programme.
- Survey of neighbouring seasonal or perennial water bodies to locate further viable population of Himalayan Salamander.
- Organising awareness camps to generate consciousness regarding conservation of Himalayan Salamander. Also to develop a local NGO to look after the conservation after the project is over.
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