STRIPED CAECILIAN (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     21st June 2024        

Context: A limbless amphibian has been added to the fauna in the 1,307.49 sq. km Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

Striped Caecilian

  • About: It is a species of caecilian in the family Ichthyophiidae.
  • Habitat: It is subterranean, found in leaf-litter, humus, and soil substrates.
  • Distribution: Widely in the Western Ghats in southern India.
  • Preferred Environments: It inhabits wet evergreen tropical forests, and adapts to low-intensity agricultural areas and plantations.
  • Range: Found up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above sea level in the Western Ghats.
  • Conservation Status: While locally abundant, habitat destruction poses a significant threat. It likely occurs in several protected areas, providing some conservation hope.
  • Herpetofauna Vitality: Reptiles and amphibians, collectively known as herpetofauna, are crucial yet understudied organisms highly susceptible to climate change and serve as environmental indicators.
  • Caecilian Characteristics: Caecilians, limbless amphibians residing mostly underground, are among the least studied amphibians, holding significant evolutionary and ecological importance.

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