IMPHAL, May 17 - Ahead of the celebration of the International Biodiversity Day on May 22, members of the Rainforest Club, Tamenglong, and the Corbett Foundation spotted a green frog (known as gousuh in the Rongmei dialect) for the first time at the Dailong Biological Heritage Site in Tamenglong district recently.
At first the identity of the frog could not be established, but after consultation among forest officials and local conservationists, the frog was identified by a scientist from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), a forest official stated.
“Forest officers have requested the public to stop capturing the frog for food or fun as it is the very basic building block of our ecosystem,” the official stressed.
When contacted, Dr Abhijit Das of the WII said the scientific name of the green mountain frog is Odorrana livida which belongs to the Ranidae family.
“These frogs live in mountain and forest streams and are distributed in the North East and South-East Asia,” he said. “The female of this frog grows big and is ubiquitous to the stream ecosystems. It is threatened by overexploitation (as food) and habitat loss,” he added.
Dr Das pointed out that many streams have been dammed, developed and polluted. These activities are likely to impact the survival of this species. In India it is found only in the North East.
The status of the species endemic to Myanmar, is said to be insufficiently known. In India, there are currently 13 species of which four are endemic to the Western Ghats, according to reports.
In November last year, a joint team of biologists from the University College Dublin, Ireland, Natural History Museum, London, and University of Delhi discovered four new species of horned frogs in the North East after 14 years of research. They are Himalayan horned frog (Megophrys himalayana), the Garo white-lipped horned frog (Megophrys oreocrypta), the yellow spotted white-lipped horned frog (Megophrys flavipunctata) and the giant Himalayan horned frog (Megophrys periosa). The four species were reportedly found at different places in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland.