Odisha rolls out conservation plan for Ganjam Slender Gecko

Source: Down To Earth

What is the News?

Odisha’s forest officials have announced measures to preserve the newly discovered tiny gecko species named Ganjam Slender Gecko.

About Ganjam Slender Gecko
  • Ganjam Slender Gecko is a tiny gecko species of the genus Hemiphyllodactylus.
  • The species was first spotted within the premises of a temple at Humma in Ganjam district in 2014.
  • Features: They grow 6 cm in length. They feed on ants, termites, small roaches, spiders, and beetles.
  • Habitat: The only habitat of the species is Jhadeshawar sacred grove. Moreover, they are only found in mango trees surrounding the temple. They were never found on concrete walls or below rock boulders, unlike other members of the genus.
  • Significance: This new species is the 7th Indian species of the genus, the second from the northern Eastern Ghats and 41st globally. It is also the first non-island species of the genus which is distributed in lowland habitats.
About Geckos
  • Geckos are reptiles. They are found on all the continents except Antarctica. These colorful lizards have adapted to habitats from rainforests to deserts to cold mountain slopes.
  • Most geckos are nocturnal, which means they are active at night but day geckos are active during the day and nibble on insects, fruits and flower nectar.
Important Gecko Species of India in news
  • Indian golden gecko: It is a species of gecko known only from the Eastern Ghats of India. It was rediscovered from the hills near present-day Tirupati.
  • Common House Gecko: It is a gecko species native to South and Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Asian house gecko, Pacific house gecko, wall gecko, house lizard, Tayoto, or moon lizard.
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern (LC).
  • Tokay gecko or Gekko gecko: They are found from northeast India to the Indo-Australian Archipelago and tropical rain forests.
    • Schedule III of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Dwarf gecko (Cnemaspis avasabinae): a New species of lizard, the smallest known Indian gekkonid, was discovered in 2020 in the Eastern Ghats. The first species was reported from the Velikonda Range in Andhra Pradesh.
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