A couple of series on the best parts of our Goa excursion!
‘Frogs’ are mostly seen only during the monsoon season and we were at the right time on the fringes of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa and we got to see some real gems, many of them that I have never seen or rather not been in search of!
A place where you get to hear nothing but the croaking of the frogs and the buzzing sounds from the crickets. Each step of yours should be carefully placed, lest you stamp on a snake or a gecko passing underneath and making sure you don’t get in the way of the vipers waiting for the passing meals on the low lying branches or the scorpions waiting to sting their prey, or the nocturnal predators that roam the forests!
That’s a walk in the wild for you!
The Malabar Gliding Frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus)
It is an arboreal species of tropical moist evergreen forest, deciduous forest, secondary (disturbed) forest and coffee plantations. It is present in the lower canopy and understorey levels of the forest. It breeds in vegetation overhanging ponds, and the tadpoles develop in the pools. Conversion of forest habitat for use as intensively farmed agricultural land (coffee plantations) is a major threat.
Dobson’s Burrowing Frog (Sphaerotheca dobsonii)
It is a fossorial species of scrubland, forest (moist and dry deciduous), and forest edge habitat. It is generally only encountered during the wet season and is capable of burrowing. It breeds in temporary pools by larval development. The main threats to this species are the conversion of its habitat to agricultural land and road construction.
Indian Bull Frog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus)
Commonly seen everywhere particularly near large water bodies, streams and fields and mainly during monsoon. Loss of wetland habitats through infrastructure development, prolonged drought and water pollution by pesticides and other agrochemicals are now the main threats to the species.
Amboli Bush Frog (Pseudophilautus amboli)
A critically endangered and endemic species on the verge of extinction only found in the Western Ghats range on small shrubs. This species is known only from a few localities in the vicinity of the Amboli forest in Sawantwadi District, Maharashtra, in the northern Western Ghats of India. The major threat to the species is habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization and tourism development.
Wayanad Bush Frog (Pseudophilautus wynaadensis)
Another critically endangered and endemic to the Western Ghats range. It is nocturnal and arboreal, and associated with the under storey of tropical moist evergreen forest and shrubland. It is present in secondary forest and cultivated land (including tea and coffee plantations), provided that these are not managed too intensively. Breeding is believed to take place by direct development. The major threat is conversion of native forest to intensively cultivated areas (including tea, coffee and other non-timber plantations).
Small-handed Frog (Indirana semipalmata)
It is a terrestrial species associated with riparian vegetation and leaf-litter in wet evergreen, and semi-evergreen, tropical forests and swamps. It has been recorded in coffee plantations and disturbed forest. Conversion of land to commercial agricultural use (including coffee plantations) appears to be the main threat to this species. Harvesting of wood and timber for subsistence use, and the development of mining and tourism in the Western Ghats region are also threats.
Other posts from the excursion posts here.