Soil moisture & roads influence the occurrence of frogs in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Read a research publication from Environment Protection and Study Center (ENPROSC)’s signature program Croaking Monsoon based project ‘Kathmandu Amphibian Survey 2018’.  The paper is result from combined efforts from nine authors from various institutions. Six of seven team members of  ENPROSC have contributed to the article.  The article  published on 17th July 2020 in Elsevier’s  ‘Global Ecology and Conservation’ provides information on the species of frogs found in Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts). The research discusses on positive/negative impacts of different development activities on frog species in mid hills of Nepal. The article is based on and incorporates two major environmental issues i.e. development activities and biodiversity conservation. Read an abstract below or click on the provided link to redirect to the main article.

Urbanization and linear infrastructure are reported to influence amphibian assemblages and populations. In areas undergoing rapid infrastructure development and urbanization, the mounting threats to biodiversity are evident. Although protected area coverage and focus on charismatic species conservation are well recognized, non-charismatic species such as amphibians are far from mainstream conservation actions and policies in Nepal. Studies on pattern and distribution of amphibians are limited, as are the roles of environmental variables in amphibian diversity in the urban landscape. This study was designed to assess the frog species richness and correlates of amphibian occurrence in Kathmandu valley. Visual encounter survey of 161 belt transects was carried out in August 2018. Data analysis used two part or Hurdle regression methods where the richness of frogs was considered a response variable. A total of 10 frog species belonging to six families were recorded. The occurrence of frogs was negatively associated with the dry soil conditions and positively associated with increased distance from roads. Occurrence of frogs along road distance gradient depicts the influence of urban infrastructure in amphibian distribution. This entails consideration of systematic conservation planning for rapidly urbanizing areas.

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