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 Indian Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) is ranked fourth in the list of EDGE amphibians. Discovered in 2003, it has come under limelight due to its unique appearance and evolutionary significance. Its restricted distribution in highly disturbed habitat has placed it in IUCN red list as endangered species. The purple frog is an icon for Indian amphibian conservation.
We do not have sufficient data on this interesting frog. Its habit of living under soil for most months in a year makes it a challenging subject to study. As a part of EDGE programme, we will focus our study on the ecological needs of ‘Nasika’ in relation to its breeding development and lifecycle. We will try to understand threats related to its conservation. Disturbance from human activities is a possible driver for the decline of Nasika population.
Understanding the breeding behavior and ecology of Nasika can provide data needed to develop a comprehensive approach towards its conservation. We will develop study approaches that can provide data while the frog lives underground and also when it comes out briefly during monsoon for breeding.
This project will identify specific areas and microhabitats of Nasika. This outcome will contribute directly to conservation planning.
Nasikabatrachus conservation is a compelling need. As an icon for amphibians, success in its conservation is likely to strengthen the survival chances of other amphibians. As an EDGE Fellow, under the guidance of S D Biju, I am excited to have an opportunity to contribute to the protection of this flagship species.