January 2011 Meeting: Speakers Anne-Frances and Ananth Miller
|Date:||January 5, 2011|
Reptiles and Amphibians of the Western Ghats and Deccan Plateau The Western Ghats ecosystem is considered one of the world's ten highest biodiversity hotspots. The Ghats are an escarpment that run roughly North-South along the western edge of peninsular India, including Sri Lanka. They form the Western edge of the Deccan plateau, and constitute the first barrier met by incoming monsoon rains. Thus, they have very high precipitation and the steep mountain slopes are cloaked in a tropical rainforest that is home to some 5000 species of flowering plants and 180 amphibians. We spent a week at the Agumbe king cobra sanctuary, when the monsoons were just beginning. We had invaluable assistance and continuous guidance from the students in residence, and took scads and scads of pictures. Our herping adventures continued in the Mysore region, which is characteristic of the Deccan plateau. Overall, we saw some 50 species of reptiles and amphibians including 26 species of frogs and toads, 10 species of snakes including wild king cobra, 16 species of lizards and a couple of turtles. This was in addition to stunning trees, ferns, flowering plants and birds. We look forward to sharing our best photos, and a tale or two.