Arun Kanagavel

  • Project name: Conservation of Kerala Indian frog through intensive field surveys and community participation
  • Project site: Tamil Nadu, India
  • EDGE species: Toad skinned frog Indirana phrynoderma
  • Active: 2012 - ongoing

Biography

Arun is a talented and ambitious individual with a passion for amphibian conservation. With a strong background in zoology and conservation and extensive prior reptile and amphibian research in the Western Ghats, Arun is perfectly placed to lead large scale conservation projects.

Through his previous work, Arun has developed strong relationships with local communities which, together with his local knowledge, has helped to ensure the success of the proposed project. In 2017 Arun became one of the first EDGE Affiliates.

EDGE Project

Arun’s EDGE Fellowship aimed to develop a species-based conservation strategy for the species through an assessment of status, habitat requirements, life history, threats and exploring the potential for conservation breeding and habitat conservation with the assistance of local communities. His objectives were to:

  • Identify, assess and monitor populations of Kerala Indian frog in the Anamalai hills of Western Ghats;
  • Assess threats (habitat-specific factors, roads) and habitat requirements;
  • Explore opportunities for local community-based conservation initiatives for the species;
  • Develop strategies for the long-term conservation of the species and site.

Achievements

  • Was recognised as a ‘Future Leader of Amphibian Conservation’ at the 2015 Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium
  • Discovered a second population of toad-skinned frog at Munnar, Kerala leading to a range extension for the species. The species was later found to be much more range-restricted than previously known, as it is restricted only to rainforests at elevations between 1300-1750m asl.
  • Secured funding for a follow up project from the Conservation Leadership Programme, the Rufford Foundation, and Idea Wild

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