Amphibian Richness In The Lowland Forests Of Kithulagala

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• Surasinghe, T. D., Jayasinghe, K., and Kudavidanage., E. (2006). Amphibian richness in lowland forests of kitulgala forest reserve, Sri Lanka. International Symposium on Issues and Challenges of the 21st Century, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihuloya.

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Amphibian Richness In The Lowland Forests Of Kithulagala

  1. 1. AMPHIBIAN RICHNESS IN THE LOWLAND FORESTS OF KITULGALA FOREST RESERVE - SRI LANKA Thilina D Surasinghe Dept of Zoology , University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Dept of Biological Sciences, Rajarata University, Sri Lanka. Kassapa N Jayasinghe Dept of Zoology , University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Enoka Kudavidanage Dept of Natural Resources, Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION <ul><li>Sri Lanka, despite its relatively small land area of 65670 km 2 , is rich in biodiversity and endemism among both fauna and flora </li></ul><ul><li>Ninety percent of both endemic fauna and flora are restricted to the southwestern lowland rainforests </li></ul><ul><li>High Diversity and endemism among herpetofauna, especially amphibians </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 10% of the land area is covered with rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the extant forest areas are severely fragmented </li></ul><ul><li>This study focused on the “Parawalathenna” forest, the lowland section of the Kitulgala forest reserve </li></ul>
  3. 3. AMPHIBIANS OF SRI LANKA 86 (83%) 103 Total 4 5 Polypedates 61 61 Philautus 0 2 Sphaeroteca 1 3 Rana 3 3 Nannophrys 1 1 Lankanectes 0 2 Haplobatrachus 2 3 Fejervarya 0 2 Euphlyctis Ranidae 0 1 Uperodon 3 4 Ramanella 2 4 Microhyla 0 1 Kaloula Microhylidae 3 5 Bufo 3 3 Adenomus Bufonidae 3 3 Ichthyophis Ichthyophiidae Endemics No of species Genus Family
  4. 4. <ul><li>One endemic subfamily (Lankanectinae) </li></ul><ul><li>There endemic genera </li></ul><ul><li>Over 90% restricted to the rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Morningside Knuckles Agra-Bopath KDN Complex </li></ul><ul><li>Haggala Kitulgala Singharaja Horton Plains </li></ul><ul><li>Adam’s Peaks & Foothills </li></ul><ul><li>High degree of point endemism </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Philautus fulvus Philautus alto Philautus auratus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Philautus simba Philautus zorro </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Eleven species of amphibians are critically endangered </li></ul><ul><li>Twenty-eight species are endangered </li></ul><ul><li>Five species of amphibians have become vulnerable </li></ul><ul><li>Fourteen species were extinct </li></ul><ul><li>Adenomus kandianus Nannophrys guntheri </li></ul><ul><li>Philautus adspersus Philautus zal </li></ul>AMPHIBIANS OF SRI LANKA
  5. 5. <ul><li>Assessing the Amphibian diversity of Kitulgala rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of the threats for amphibian fauna in Kitulgala rainforest </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation of conservation strategies for Kitulgala rainforest </li></ul>OBJECTIVES
  6. 6. <ul><li>Location : Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province </li></ul><ul><li>Area : 265.9 ha </li></ul><ul><li>Vicinity : Foothills of the central mountains & the Adams Peak National Park </li></ul><ul><li>The Kelani valley proposed forest reserve in the Kandy district and the Kelani valley forest reserve in the Kegalle district are in close proximity to the Kitulgala forest reserve </li></ul><ul><li>Vegetation : Tropical wet evergreen lowland rainforest </li></ul>THE KITULGALA FOREST RESERVE
  7. 7. <ul><li>The study was conducted between April 2003 and December 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Observations were recorded, </li></ul><ul><li>on the ground </li></ul><ul><li>on trees and bushes </li></ul><ul><li>along riverbanks and streams </li></ul><ul><li>around permanent and seasonal water bodies </li></ul><ul><li>of the core-forest and buffer zone lowland section – “Parawlathenna” </li></ul><ul><li>The forest areas were searched using a “Visual Encounter Survey Technique” </li></ul><ul><li>The survey was done from 0500 hours to 0900 hours in the morning and 1900 hours to 2100 hours in the night </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly excursions were made to various parts of the study site </li></ul>METHODOLOGY
  8. 8. <ul><li>Thirty-one (31) species of amphibians encountered </li></ul><ul><li>20% Sri Lankan amphibian diversity </li></ul><ul><li>The species list included, </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>29 species of Anurans, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>04 species of Microhylids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>04 species of Bufonids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>21 species of Ranids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>02 species of Apodans (Ceacallians), </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>02 species of Ichthyophiids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Of the above, 19 species are endemic, including </li></ul><ul><li>02 endemic genera </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>01 Microhylid </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>02 Bufonids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>14 Ranids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>02 Ichthyophiids </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The ecological niche of these amphibians seems to span from a fossorial mode of life to an arboreal mode of life </li></ul>RESULTS
  9. 9. * endemic species ** endemic genera RESULTS Contd… Microhyla rubra   Microhyla ornata   Ramanella obscura *   Ramanella variegata Micohylidae Kaloula taprobanica   Adenomus kelaartii *   Bufo kotagamai *   Bufo melanostictus Bufonidae Species Family Ichthyophis glutinosus * Ichthyophis pseudangularis *   Ichthyophiidae
  10. 10. * endemic species ** endemic genera Nannophrys ceylonensis **   Lankanectes corrugatus **   Polypedates maculates *   Polypedates cruciger *   Philautus hoipolloi *   Philautus popularis *   Philautus stictomerus *   Philautus cavirostris *   Philautus sordidus *   Philautus procax *   Philautus abundus *   Philautus reticulates * Philautus folicola *   Sphaerotheca rolandae   Rana temporalis   Rana gracilis *   Rana aurantiaca   Haplobatrachus crassus   Fejervarya limnocharis   Euphlyctis hexadactylus Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis   Ranidae
  11. 11. Adenomus kelaartii
  12. 12. Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis
  13. 13. Euphlyctis hexadactylus
  14. 14. Fejervarya limnocharis
  15. 15. Hoplobatrachus crassus
  16. 16. Kaloula taprobanica
  17. 17. Limnonectes cancrivora
  18. 18. Microhyla ornata
  19. 19. Microhyla rubra
  20. 20. Nannophrys ceylonensis
  21. 21. Polypedates maculatus
  22. 22. Philautus reticulates
  23. 23. Ramanella variegata
  24. 24. Rana aurantiaca
  25. 25. Rana temporalis
  26. 26. Rana gracilis
  27. 27. Sphaerotheca rolandae
  28. 28. Sphaerotheca rolandae
  29. 29. Ichthyophis glutinosus
  30. 30. <ul><li>Rainforest are being rapidly depleted with over 1% of the tropical rainforests being destroyed each year around the world </li></ul><ul><li>In Sri Lanka, a significant proportion of these forests are being degraded as a result of deforestation and fragmentation </li></ul><ul><li>large extents of tropical rainforests in the island have now been isolated in to small sized fragments </li></ul><ul><li>The Kitulgala reserve currently faces similar threats </li></ul><ul><li>Amphibians are extremely sensitive to subtle environmental catastrophes   </li></ul>CONSERVATION ISSUES
  31. 31. <ul><li>The greatest threat to the reserve occurs from its contiguous villages with deforestation </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By settlements and cultivations gradually encroaching into the forest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>These encroachments exacerbate the consequences of the Edge Effect by … </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>providing routes for invasive species and non-forest vegetation to invade the forest ecosystem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making amphibians more vulnerable to opportunistic village dwelling predators such as domestic cats village crows and Common Coucal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Overexploitation of natural resources: logging and firewood extraction </li></ul>CONSERVATION ISSUES Contd…
  32. 32. <ul><li>Agricultural activities around and inside the reserve </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the cultivations are paddy and tea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage of large quantities of agro-chemicals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollute the water in the amphibian breeding sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food scarcity </li></ul></ul>CONSERVATION ISSUES Contd…
  33. 33. A small tea plantation within the reserve
  34. 34. Invasive species spreading into the forest ecosystem along with disturbances
  35. 35. <ul><li>Strict protection of the forest habitats </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent further encroachments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical demarcation of the forest boundary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide physical protection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Imposing rules and regulations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Incorporate plantations and cultivated lands that adjoins or lies within the forest to the reserve </li></ul><ul><li>Restoration of degraded habitats </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Apply soil conservation measures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Replanting with forest species </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Removal of invasive and non-forest species </li></ul></ul></ul>RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSERVATION
  36. 36. <ul><li>Establishment of Buffer zone </li></ul><ul><li>Restriction on pesticide usage </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage agro-forestry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage organic farming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Ex-situ conservation </li></ul>RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSERVATION Contd…
  37. 37. <ul><li>http://amphibiaweb.org/search/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.mampam.50megs.com/coorg/pages/microhylarubra.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.environmentlanka.com/gallery/sinharaja_fauna/ </li></ul>REFERENCES

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