New Species of Striped Caecilian Unearthed in Kaziranga National Park

News Reporter News Reporter
Thursday, June 20, 2024
New Species of Striped Caecilian Unearthed in Kaziranga National Park
Discovery Made During Comprehensive Amphibian and Reptile Survey
New Species of Striped Caecilian Unearthed in Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga, Assam - An exciting discovery has emerged from Kaziranga National Park, where a new species of striped caecilian has been found. The breakthrough occurred during a detailed survey of amphibians and reptiles conducted from June 14 to June 17.

Kaziranga, famous for its diverse ecosystem, became the site of this notable finding amid the onset of the monsoon season, when the park resonates with the sounds of its amphibian inhabitants. This period proved to be ideal for a dedicated survey that led to the first documentation of the Striped Caecilian (Ichthyophis spp) within the park's boundaries.

Caecilians, which are limbless and primarily subterranean or aquatic amphibians, are rarely seen, making this discovery highly significant. Kaziranga’s extensive 1,307-square-kilometer terrain, consisting of floodplains, wetlands, grasslands, and hilly areas, provides a perfect environment for a wide range of amphibian and reptile species.

The survey was conducted by a team of distinguished experts: Dr. Saibal Sengupta from Assam Don Bosco University, Dr. Abhijit Das from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Rajeev Basumatary and Dr. Samrat Sengupta from DR College, Golaghat, Dr. Jayadev Mondal from Madhav Choudhury College, Barpeta, and Dr. Jayaditya Purkayastha from Help Earth.

In addition to the identification of the new species, the survey included training programs to bolster the skills of forest staff in recognizing and conserving amphibians. This initiative forms part of a larger strategy to enhance the management and protection of these crucial species.

Kaziranga National Park has a history of remarkable wildlife discoveries. In the previous year, species such as the long-tailed Nigni, Binturong, and small-clawed otters were recorded in the park for the first time. This new finding further enriches Kaziranga’s already impressive biodiversity, reinforcing its status as a vital refuge for wildlife.

The discovery of the Striped Caecilian not only adds to the ecological richness of Kaziranga but also highlights the importance of continued scientific exploration and conservation efforts in safeguarding our natural heritage.