Common Amphibians of Kerala (Frogs and Toads)
|P. S. Sivaprasad
|Kerala State Biodiversity Board, Kerala
|8.00 X 5.50 inch
Amphibians are an important component of the ecosystem, provide a vital link in food chain and are widely accepted as indicators of environmental stability. Their exploitation as model organism in ecological, embryological, physiological and genetic research has contributed to a drastic decline in their population. Kerala harbours a variety of habitats making it conducive for many amphibian species to thrive here. The topographical variation of the land has contributed to a high level of endemism in amphibian fauna.
Kerala State Biodiversity Board is bringing out a series of handbooks on the common flora and fauna of Kerala and the book 'Common Amphibians of Kerala' is an attempt in this line. Common Amphibians of Kerala authored by Shri. P.S. Sivaprasad is a venture aimed at facilitating young researchers and field workers in accurate identification of the species widely observed in Kerala. A collection of 82 amphibians are described in this book including the recently discovered Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis- once in a century find. This introductory guide offers a concise introduction to Amphibians and is well illustrated with colourful photographs. The book includes scientific essentials like morphological features, habitats, scientific names, common names and measurements. The measurements enable the reader to get an accurate idea of the size and appearance of the species. The present book, an outcome of long field experience and research by the author is sure to interest anyone studying amphibians in the wild, especially those involved in their identification and conservation.
As Chairman of Kerala State Biodiversity Board it gives me immense pleasure to congratulate Shri. P.S. Sivaprasad for compiling an informative book on Amphibians of Kerala and hope that this book will be found useful by all interested.
Amphibians are ubiquitous in nature with a long history of use in biomedical research and transitory between aquatic and terrestrial life. They were the first terrestrial vertebrates, successfully colonizing the land millions of years ago. They have endured at least three mass extinction events including the one that eliminated the dinosaurs. Still the amphibians survived, but unfortunately today as many as half of all species are threatened with extinction and are at greater peril than before. Tackling the amphibian extinction crisis represents one of the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity. This handbook is likely to serve as a valuable reference tool for field level researchers in the accurate identification of the common Amphibians of Kerala.
Common Amphibians of Kerala authored by Shri. P.S. Sivaprasad is a comprehensive guide with descriptions, copiously illustrated with photographs and meticulously referenced. This book presents illustrated descriptions of the amphibians found in Kerala along with their characteristic features, habits and habitat for each species along with their local and IUCN status. The book is supplemented with a glossary, species index and species page finder. The aim of this book is to familiarise the people with the amphibians and reptiles of their territory and to perpetuate scientific information on the subject.
I am sure that this field book will be of great practical use to students, field level researchers and nature lovers in identifying the species and I would like to congratulate Shri. P.S. Sivaprasad for compiling a highly informative handbook.
Kerala, is always synonymous with natural beauty and scenic splendour and is bestowed with unparalleled richness of biodiversity. Located on the south western comer of the country abutting the western slopes of the Western Ghats, Kerala boasts its uniqueness in plant and animal diversity. This narrow strip of land with an Immeasurable worth of natural richness home to a myriad of life forms, of which many are found nowhere else in the world. The eastern side of Kerala bordering the western slopes of the Western Ghats is a region of high level of endemism and so is the case with the amphibians that inhabit it.
Be it mammals, birds, insects, reptiles or amphibians, Kerala is rich in it. Over 110 species of Anurans (Order Anura) have been recorded so far from Kerala and this number is on the rise. The amphibian fauna was a neglected field of study in the state until recently, but the momentum of exploring them in the last decade or so has escalated and many researchers in the field are bringing out exciting new findings hitherto unknown to science.
Flanked between a looming stretch of mountain ranges of the Western Ghats and the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea on the other side, Kerala harbours a variety of habitats in this forest-rich terrain making it conducive for many amphibian species to thrive here. The topographical and altitudinal variation from the plains to a high altitude montane habitat has created high levels of endemism in its amphibian fauna. Some of the species that have evolved here are very narrowly distributed over a few sq. km. area making them highly vulnerable. Similarly certain endemics distributed in highly restricted localities are either common locally or extremely rare to find. Any natural calamity to these areas could possibly wipe them out in total and take them to the pages of history. To emphasise of importance and the necessity to conserve these lesser known vertebrates, a book like this is very important. It is also necessary to have a collection of images to appreciate these amphibians which are usually more often heard than seen. Due to their nocturnal nature emergence only during the rains, this small group of animals are hardly noticed by people. If only the appreciation for these beautiful creatures grows among us, their chances of survival increases. To instigate and to impart whatever knowledge have acquired over a period of time watching these small, colourful and cryptic amphibians, the idea of preparing a book of this kind developed. Keeping in mind the common man, a collection of about 82 species were selected to be included as part of this book. The book also includes scientific essentials like morphological features, habitats, scientific names, common names, measurements, IUCN status, probable throats, district-wise distribution, etc., for each species. Every species described is presented with colour photographs of its profile, a dorsal, ventral or a dorsal-lateral view along with measurements to give an idea of its size and appearance. The more we understand these vanishing life forms, the better we can appreciate and conserve them.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
We Also Recommend
The Original Programme of The Theosophical Society And Preliminary Memorandum of the Esoteric Section