What the geckos are telling us: new species point to conservation needs

first_imgBiodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Herps, Interns, New Species, Reptiles, Species Discovery, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Ishan Agarwal describes the Bangalore geckoella and the Rishi Valley geckoella.Discovery expands the C. collegalensis complex from 3 to 5 species.Geckos are found in small areas, including forest reserves which provide little protection. Within the seemingly boundless Mysore Plateau of southern India, the newly-discovered Bangalore geckoella (Cyrtodactylus srilekhae) and Rishi Valley geckoella (Cyrtodactylus rishivalleyensis) pace – centred, unhurried, and only prone to flurries of action when strictly needed.These two nocturnal, ground-dwelling geckos, described in Zootaxa by Dr. Ishan Agarwal, are members of the Cyrtodactylus collegalensis complex – a group of five species that inhabit seasonal forests across southern and western India. Members of this group are small, rarely measuring more than 60 millimetres (about two and a half inches) from snout to vent, and have smooth scales down their backs. The two new species, however, are unique in colour pattern, mitochondrial DNA and morphometric ratios (the ratios of one body measurement to another).The Forest Spotted Gecko/Kollegal Ground Gecko (Cyrtodactylus collegalensis), a member of the Cyrtodactylus collegalensis complex. Species in this complex rarely measure more than 60 millimetres from snout to vent. Photo credit: ISHAN AGARWAL.Agarwal, a biologist at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, first spotted the Bangalore geckoella in 2007. His mother, Srilekha Agarwal, was the inspiration behind its name.“[Her] influence on me ranged from reading me My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell and encouraging (allowing?) me to bring snails from the garden home, to holidays exploring wild places together,” he wrote in an email. “This definitely contributed to my becoming a biologist, and I wanted to honour her with something special.”Aptly, the Bangalore geckoella is found near his mother’s home.When he first spotted the gecko, Agarwal grew excited. But at the time the prevailing belief was that Cyrtodactylus collegalensis was a single widespread species distributed from Mumbai to Southern India, instead of five separate species.The Bangalore geckoella (Cyrtodactylus srilekhae), named after Agarwal’s mother. Her influence contributed greatly to his pursuit of biology. Photo credit: ISHAN AGARWAL.Agarwal also hadn’t begun studying geckos specifically. Many more years of work would follow.In 2010, Agarwal’s colleagues spotted the Rishi Valley geckoella during a weekend trip near Rishi Valley. The location eventually gave the new species its name. But the name is also an homage to Agarwal’s alma mater, Rishi Valley School.Agarwal remains mildly piqued he was not the one to spot the species first, having explored the Rishi Valley before.The process of collecting specimens is rarely a straightforward feat anywhere, and India is no exception. Here, scientists intending to collect specimens are first required to glean various permits from state Forest Departments. Agarwal and his team eventually managed to obtain permits from the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Forest Departments – perhaps reflecting the growing inclination of state governments to view scientific research as a key source to how the country manages and conserves its forests.India’s forests are broadly classified into three groups – biosphere reserves, wildlife sanctuaries or national parks, and reserve forests. The British first introduced the concept of reserve forests via the Indian Forest Act of 1878. A complicated process of reservation followed, involving the compensation of pre-existing rights over the proposed reserve forests. To this day, reserve forests are still accorded less protection than their counterparts.Considering that the two newly-discovered gecko species are endemic to extremely small areas – the Rishi Valley geckoella is known from only a single site in reserve forests, while the Bangalore gecko is known from private land and reserve forests – the conservation implications are stark. The discovery of these new gecko species indicates that peninsular India’s reserve forests may be harboring legions of other species endemic to small areas, a vast majority of which could be completely unknown to science.“If a single hill or patch of forest is destroyed by quarrying or development,” Agarwal warned, “we may lose a unique species, found nowhere else.”The Rishi Valley geckoella (Cyrtodactylus rishivalleyensis) is endemic to a single locality, signifying that there may be other undiscovered species, similarly endemic to very small areas in India, which could be wiped out by developmental activity. Photo credit: ISHAN AGARWAL.Citations:Agarwal, I. (2016). Two new species of ground-dwelling Cyrtodactylus (Geckoella) from the Mysore Plateau, south India. Zootaxa, 4193(2), 228. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4193.2.2Macura, B., Zorondo-Rodríguez, F., Grau-Satorras, M., Demps, K., Laval, M., Garcia, C. A., & Reyes-García, V. (2011). Local Community Attitudes toward Forests Outside Protected Areas in India. Impact of Legal Awareness, Trust, and Participation. Ecology and Society, 16(3). doi:10.5751/es-04242-160310center_img Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img read more