Arunachal Pradesh – the region with a cold and forested landscape, hiding unparalleled diversity with several specialized species, tropical forests, countless valleys, enormous diversity of flora and fauna and ageless forests is also home to fully dependent indigenous communities of its biological resources.
Scientists around the world have raised concerns about the new challenges that species face in terms of their survival. Listed specifically, these obstacles include – climate change, habitat change, incentive for modernization / development activities.
The change of habitat has been claimed as the main reason to blame the future endangerment of species recently discovered in Arunachal Pradesh, the local population of cascade frogs scientifically called Adi ‘Amolops adicola ‘.
Scientific reports claim that the genus Amolops is one of the largest groups of ranid frogs (family Ranidae).
Incorporating 73 known species, its population is widely distributed in northeastern and northern India – Nepal, Bhutan, China, Indochina region and Malay Peninsula.
The humid habitat, specifically depicted with small waterfalls, is considered the main preference of waterfall frogs.
The adults and tadpoles of Adi Cascade Frogs are specifically adapted to sections of fast-flowing streams, the modification of which could wipe out the species.
According to experts, the construction of control dams on the rivers, the removal of rocks could endanger the species in recent times.
“One of the main threats to these animals is the rapid change in their habitat; such as building small dams on streams, altering stream flow for agriculture and removing rocks, ”quoted by Naitik G Patel of the Department of Endangered Species Management at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
It should be mentioned that species of these ranid frogs were recently discovered by a team of Indian and American biologists from the WII, the University of Delhi and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on the Adi Hills of the Arunachal Pradesh.
These species are morphologically distinguished from their congeners by a series of characters, including adult size, body coloration and markings, skin texture, muzzle shape, foot strap and toe tips, depending on the Journal of Natural History.
Amolops adicola has been identified on the basis of several criteria such as its external morphology, its deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and its calling patterns.
The new taxa discovered by revisiting a century-old Adi expedition in 2018 are considered an important discovery by experts.
Biologists have been investigating a group of medium to large cascading frogs from the northeast for five years.
The study resolved century-old taxonomic confusions about the identity of another species of frog, scientifically called ‘Amolops monticola ‘, described from the Himalayas of Sikkim nearly 150 years ago.
Such findings with important implications for the taxonomy and geographic distribution of several other members of this group are found in India and neighboring regions of China.