New species of Gecko discovered in Chhattisgarh forest-Prelims-2017

  • A new species of gecko “EUBLEPHARIS SATPURAENSIS” (reptile) has been discovered for the first time in Chhattisgarh’s rich biodiversity forest at Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kawardha district. The population of the new species looks quite dense and indicates that the eco-system suits it for further conservation.
  • Earlier found only in Madhya Pradesh, the species was spotted during tiger census being conducted in the sanctuary on the hills of Satpuda range. Forest department now plans to write to Zoological Survey of India seeking suggestions to conserve Gecko in the region.
  • Confirming the findings, Kawardha divisional forest officer Alok Tiwari said, “Eublepharis Satpuraensis-Gecko has never been reported in the region but the habitat having lots of cliff in forests and minute study took our researchers to them. It’s a welcoming move that such rare species are present in state’s forest range and deep study of reptiles has become important now. We have informed the forest headquarters about the unique finding and we would also write to Zoological Survey of India to acknowledge the gecko and suggest techniques to conserve it depending upon the present ecological system in Bhoramdeo.”
  • Wildlife enthusiasts said that dedicated local teams should be deployed in forests of state for such major findings in stead of inviting teams from outside because, it has been noted that they visit and submit a report within weeks, leaving the work incomplete. Whereas local researchers would know the territory thoroughly and stay back for seasons to come to study on birds and reptiles.
  • A team of Nova Nature society which is working for fourth state of monitoring in tiger census and is dominantly working towards rescue of snakes and reptiles in state, have spotted gecko for the first time in sanctuary.
  • Talking to TOI, M Suraj, president of Nova Nature society said, “The biodiversity of state is so rich, every other day a new species of fauna and flora discovered from region. This time we found a very rare species of gecko which was identified and originated in 2014 by a team of experts from Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi and surrounding areas in Satpuda Tiger Reserve, Bhopal. Now the distribution of species was recorded at various places of Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary of Chhattisgarh confirming its presence in state.”
  • The team collected the specimen for confirming the identification and measurement to release it in forest again. “This signifies that Chhattisgarh forests are yet to be explored vastly as its biodiversity is so rich that before urbanization and industrialization take over, the last remaining forest species should be identified and conserved. Mainly detailed research is the need of the hour on reptiles and birds,’Suraj expressed concern.
  • The species is shy and nocturnal in nature and were found only in dusk. Satpuraensis were a non-venomous species and very vibrant and attractive in coloration. Other specimens were also collected from other regions of sanctuary and studied.
  • Nova nature has already discovered more than 32 species of snakes and reptiles in past four years which has a dedicated team of conservationists and scientists.

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