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​REDISCOVERY OF SRI LANKAN GOLDEN-BACKED FROG IN INDIA



  May 21, 2024

​REDISCOVERY OF SRI LANKAN GOLDEN-BACKED FROG IN INDIA



WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS REDISCOVERY?

The rediscovery of the Sri Lankan golden-backed frog (Hylarana gracilis) in India after 200 years is significant because it provides evidence of a historic land bridge between India and Sri Lanka during the late Pleistocene period, or the Ice Age.

WHERE WAS THE FROG FOUND?

The frog was sighted in the Palamaner forest range of the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary in Chittoor district, the southernmost point of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.

WHO DISCOVERED THE FROG?

Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and the Andhra Pradesh Biodiversity Board rediscovered the frog. Bharath Bhupathi from ZSI, Hyderabad, initially encountered the species near a pond in the forest.

HOW WAS THE SPECIES CONFIRMED?

The species was confirmed as Hylarana gracilis through consultations with taxonomic experts and the use of morphological and DNA barcoding tools.

WHY IS THIS REDISCOVERY IMPORTANT FOR ECOLOGY?

Amphibians, like the Sri Lankan golden-backed frog, are ecological indicators of healthy ecosystems. The rediscovery highlights the biodiversity of the Eastern Ghats, which are home to 27 species of amphibians, fewer than the Western Ghats.

WHAT DOES THE REDISCOVERY TELL US ABOUT HISTORIC LAND CONNECTIONS?

The rediscovery supports the theory of a historic land bridge between India and Sri Lanka. The frog populations in India and Sri Lanka, now approximately 800 km apart, show a shallow genetic divergence of 0.2% to 1%, indicating past land connections due to changes in sea levels during the late Pleistocene period.

WHAT WILL BE DONE TO PROTECT THE SPECIES?

District Forest Officer (Chittoor) C. Chaitanya Kumar Reddy has stated that steps will be taken to protect the rediscovered species in the Palamaner range of Chittoor.

HOW MANY FRESHWATER FROG SPECIES ARE NOW IN INDIA?

With this rediscovery, the number of freshwater frog species in India rises to 20.


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