New Amphibian Species Discovered in Kaziranga National Park

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Source– This post on New Amphibian Species Discovered in Kaziranga National Park has been created based on the article “Limbless amphibian found in Kaziranga for first time”  published in “The Hindu” on 21 June 2024.

Why in the news?

Recently, a Limbless amphibian was found in Kaziranga for the first time.

About New Amphibian Species Discovered in Kaziranga National Park

Limbless amphibian
Source: The Hindu

1. A limbless amphibian, the striped caecilian (Ichthyophis spp), has been discovered in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

2.  This marks the first recorded presence of the species in the 1,307.49 sq. km park.

3.  The discovery was made during a rapid herpetofauna survey conducted from June 14-17.

About Caecilians

1. Limbless amphibians or caecilians are a group of animals that belong to the Gymnophiona order of the amphibian class.

2. Caecilians are limbless amphibians that live mostly burrowed under soil, making them one of the least studied amphibian species.

3. Their presence provides critical insights into evolution and intercontinental speciation due to their ancient lineage.

About Kaziranga National Park

About1. It is a National Park located in Assam.
2. It is situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra River and lies between the Brahmaputra River and the Karbi (Mikir) Hills.
3. It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
4. The area under wetlands in Kaziranga has reduced from 8.5% of the total area to 6.7% over a period of 30 years till 1977.
Special Recognition1. The Park was declared as a National Park in 1974. In 1985, the park was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Further, it was also declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2006.
2. It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
Vegetation1. Due to the difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the park, here one can see mainly four types of vegetation’.
2. This includes alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
FloraIndian gooseberry, cotton tree, and elephant apple are amongst the famous trees that can be seen in the park. Also, a good variety of aquatic flora can be seen in lakes, ponds, and along the river shores.
FaunaAlong with the iconic Greater one-horned rhinoceros, the park is the breeding ground of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Over the time, the tiger population has also increased in Kaziranga, and that’s the reason why it was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.
Significance1. It is the house of two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses (IUCN Status- Vulnerable).
2. The title Kaziranga adopts its name to Karbi, which is the name of a woman who ruled here in ancient time.
3. The entire area of Kaziranga is formed by alluvial deposits from the Brahmaputra and its tributaries.

UPSC Syllabus: Environment

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