Forest fragmentation and resultant climate change is one of the largest threats causing biodiversity loss. Such change can impact local fauna that are sensitive to change.
India is home to about 270 species of amphibians and as many as 100 are endangered. About 170 of them are found nowhere else in the world but in small fragmented pockets of forest or only where they were originally described. Though large scale forest fragmentation is not particularly an issue in India, the amount of forest landscapes has reduced from 90% of the land to just about 4% today.
This SOS - Save Our Species project, implemented through the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), intended to document impacts on amphibian assemblage in degraded forests and forest fragments to test whether such regenerated forests have the potential to harbor original composition. To start saving these species it was necessary to first identify the key threats to their survival. The project staff then assessed the current status of amphibians and used this information and understanding to draw out a comprehensive action plan to better manage the situation.
The primary objective of this study was to document the current status and establish baseline information on amphibian communities.
Once this was done, the work went a step further and documented the changes in assemblage in accordance to stages of human modified forest landscapes.
The third step was to use this information as raw material for a mathematical model which then predicted the changes that occured in amphibian communities in larger areas due to global climate change.
The last objective was to build a sense of environmental stewardship among the local youth by directly involving them in scientific research and monitoring.