EDGE Community

Project information

[Project name/title]
Systematics and reproductive studies of Nasikabatrachus, and its conservation management

[Project description/overview]

Western Ghats, India

Project type:
Scientific research

Relevant EDGE species:
Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis)

Project members:
Sathyabhama Das Biju

Relevant species
4. Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) EN

Described in 2003, this species is the sole member of the first new frog family to be discovered since 1926!

[Relevance description]
- Estimate the species diversity in the genus Nasikabatrachus by using morphology and molecular parameters
- Evaluate the conservation prioritisation by using IUCN parameters
- Propose the conservation measures if the species (known and possible new discoveries) are Critically Endangered / Endangered
- Study the reproductive strategies in the wild and in captivity
Project summary
The family Nasikabatrchidae was recently described from the Western Ghats (Biju & Bossuyt, 2003). It gained immense public and scientific attention because of its uniqueness and biogeographic relationship with Seychelles. However, its extent of distribution and survival strategy are still only partially known. Adequate knowledge in these areas are needed for conservation management. The current project plans to conduct extensive field and laboratory research to understand its species diversity, reproductive strategies and possible threats to its survival.

Species diversity: Extensive field survey of the entire Western Ghats could reveal more information on the actual diversity at the species level.

Reproductive strategies: A study in Nasikabtarachus reproductive strategies in wild and in captivity has been planned. This will help in understanding the recourse (i.e. suitable habitat) that could be required for successfully completing breeding, oviposition, tadpole metamorphism etc.

Possible threats to survival: The New family is reported from Kattapana in Kerala state in the central Western Ghats and subsequently it has been reported from several other places (Dutta et al., 2004, Radhakrishnan et al., 2007; Biju, personal observations) within the Ghats. Currently Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis is under IUCN threatened category as Endangered. The proposed research will focus on identifying the exact threats to the species by accurate taxonomic identification using morphology and molecular phylogeny, and propose appropriate conservation strategies.
Start date: June 2008
Duration: 3 years
Project members
Dr Sathyabhama Das Biju : Project leader

Biju is a systematic biologist working on amphibians

[Member role description]
Currently there are no donors specifically for this project. However, an ongoing research programme on the Western Ghats amphibian research is being funded by Government of India.
[Title:] Purple Frog
[Image caption]
Nasikabatrchus sahyadrensis
[Title:] Purple Frog
[Image caption]
Nasikabatrchus sahyadrensis
Associated Blog Posts
29th Feb 12
To coincide with Leap Day, Amphibian Ark has launched a new international event that is celebrating the successes achieved in amphibian conservation, both in...  Read

25th Jul 11
This frog in not only extraordinary in its appearance but also in the way it lives.  Unlike most frogs the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) spends...  Read

27th May 10
The Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is a flagship species for conservation in India. Its distribution is restricted to two states in peninsular In...  Read

5th May 09
Ashish Thomas, our first amphibian EDGE Fellow, tells you here a bit more about his chosen species and what he is doing towards its conservation. The Ind...  Read

7th Jan 09
One of our focal EDGE amphibians – the purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) – has been caught on camera for the first time by EDGE-affiliated resea...  Read