Dwindling status of amphibians in Nagaland

Morung Express News
Dimapur | May 10

It might appear harmless at first glimpse, but the status of amphibians in Nagaland is in fact a matter of grave concern from several viewpoints. Once gone, a considerable part of the state’s biodiversity would be unavailable for future generations. Amphibians, which include, among others, frogs of various species, show high variety in a climatic condition like Nagaland and the rest of the Northeast region. The diversity of terrain surrounding alluvial areas and hills contribute to the survival of a wide range of amphibians.

At least 32 species of amphibians have been observed in Nagaland alone and the tally is growing with new species being reported. Disappointingly, for different reasons, threats to the amphibian population are increasing, with many of those originating from human actions. “Ruin and destruction of forests and ecosystems, mounting pollution and dwindling wetlands have been annihilating the habitation of many of the amphibian species,” says Md. Imtazul Hussain, a Science teacher at Christian Memorial School, Dimapur.

“Constant use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is an additional cause that has endangered amphibians in the paddy fields of the state,” says Hussain adding that the slip in the amphibian populace is a hazardous trend since frogs in different environmental spaces play major roles. For example, he explains, frogs are not just part of the larger food chain but provide clear signs about the value of land and water.

While stating that with sufficient number of amphibians in a field, it becomes apparent that the soil quality of the area is fine and poisonous levels low, Hussain highlights that frogs are nature’s insect killers – the result of their existence in an area would mean less use for insecticides. However, the Science teacher points out, these diverse species remain much sought after by farmers for their living since amphibians find a unique place in the cuisine of the State.

The daily markets in every district of the State showcase these amphibians for sale. If the trend continues, the rate at which these amphibians decrease would largely affect the ecosystem. Corrective measures by the government and its agencies, like starting a project to articulate the position of these amphibians, could help stop the slip in their population.