Lost Amphibians of India (LAI) Initiative Coming to a Close

The Lost Amphibians of India (LAI), run by a team of field biologists from Delhi University, is about to come to a close. The project’s vision was to locate 52 ‘lost’ species of amphibians across India. The oldest in the list was a frog last seen in 1834 in Bengal. The youngest is a Caecilian last seen in 1992 in Kerala. A year of search in 17 states, involving 280 members from 20 teams has resulted in 70 percent of the lost amphibians being located again. The initiative will continue for another two months. Frogs and amphibians face serious threats to survival from habitat loss, forest fires, road kills, pesticide use and introduction of alien species and diseases. Globally one third of amphibian species are facing extinction. According to SD Biju, frogs are keystone species and are indicators of the environment. With the close of the LAI project, the team will present a proposal to the Indian Government for a large-scale project to conserve Indian frogs.

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