Key figures leading this operation included Shri Sujith R, Deputy Director of Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Shri Muhammed Anwar, Sarpa Nodal Officer, and Assistant Forest Conservator, and highly regarded herpetologists, Dr. Sandeep Das and Dr. Rajkumar K P.
The meticulously conducted survey extended over the diverse habitats of the reserve, a sprawling area of 243 square kilometers, divided into 12 camps. Under the coordinated supervision of forest officials, students, and naturalists, round-the-clock surveys resulted in the identification of 66 amphibian species and 81 reptile species. This initiative was not just another tally, rather its objective was to foster long-term monitoring and in-depth study of the sanctuary’s fauna.
Significant discoveries during the survey included 11 amphibian species and 12 reptile species not previously recorded in earlier studies. Noteworthy among these were the ancient Malabar Toad and the globally endangered Purple Frog. The survey also underscored the region’s biodiversity, with 48 out of the 66 amphibian species identified as being endemic to the Western Ghats.
A remarkable highlight of the survey was the identification of a significant population of the elusive Galaxy Frog, the flagship species of the Mathikettan Shola National Park and recognized as one of the rarest frogs in India. Although there were earlier reports of the Galaxy Frog in the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, this survey unveiled its robust presence, further emphasising the reserve’s rich amphibian diversity.