Rajib Majumder

Herpetofaunal community composition in an agro-ecosystem in the Gangetic plain of eastern India

Abstract The Gangetic plain of India is one of the most intensively farmed lands in the world. This study examined the species composition of the herpetofaunal community in Haripal, Hooghly, West Bengal, India, located within the Gangetic Delta’s plain of eastern India. A total of 32 species (10 amphibians, 22 reptiles) belonging to 23 genera (7 amphibian, 16 reptile), 13 families (4 amphibian, 9 reptile), and two orders (1 amphibian, 1 reptile) were recorded. Among the amphibians, the highest number of species (5) was recorded in the family Dicroglossidae, while the Colubridae family was represented by a maximum of 7 species among the reptiles. All of the recorded species except Varanus flavescens (Hardwicke and Gray, 1827) are listed as Least Concern (LC) in the IUCN Red List. Varanus flavescens has been declared as Endangered (EN). Among the recorded species, one species is included in Schedule I, 6 species in Schedule II, and 13 species are listed in Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This report provides baseline data on herpetofaunal community composition in the Haripal block for the first time. The study area is rich in herpetofaunal diversity. This study also emphasises the necessity of holistic conservation strategies in the study area and the demand for additional studies to explore the country’s biodiversity beyond the protected areas.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/21658005.2022.2.4

Keywords Amphibians; reptiles; species diversity; conservation; Haripal; West Bengal

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