Cyrtopodion Vindhya

A team of wildlife researchers has discovered a new species of naked-toed gecko, named Cyrtopodion Vindhya, in the Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat. This recent discovery brings the number of endemic reptile species described in Gujarat to five in the last 15 years. The study highlights the significance of the region’s rich and unique fauna.

The Discovery of Cyrtopodion Vindhya

The species was first observed the nocturnal species in 2017 in the hilly regions of Dahod, Panchmahal, and Chhota Udepur districts. The new species prefers the crevices and cracks in granite boulders as its habitat and tends to retreat at the slightest disturbance. It has unique rupicolous habits, which means they live among rocks, but can also be found on the ground.

The first samples of the new species were found from the Vindhya hill ranges in the westernmost part of Gujarat. Hence, they named the species Cyrtopodion Vindhya, which is the 24th known species of the genus Cyrtopodion.

The Significance of the Discovery

Gujarat is known for its rich and diverse fauna. However, the reptilian diversity of the region is not as well-documented as that of other regions in India. The discovery of the new species contributes to a better understanding of the reptilian diversity of the region.

Moreover, India has emerged as a hotspot of gecko diversity. Since 1996, the number of geckos reported/described from India has grown from about 61 to 136 by the end of 2019. Gujarat alone is home to more than half of the gecko species reported in the country in the last three decades.

The Implications of the Study

The discovery of Cyrtopodion Vindhya highlights the importance of studying lesser-known regions for understanding the biodiversity of a region. The researchers emphasized the need for more studies to be conducted in the Vindhya ranges and other lesser-known regions of Gujarat.

Additionally, the study emphasizes the importance of conserving the habitat of the new species. Since the species prefers the crevices and cracks in granite boulders as its habitat, conservation efforts should focus on the preservation of the rocky outcrops.




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