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Density and microhabitat association of Salea anamallayana in Eravikulam National Park, Western Ghats, India

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Salea anamallayana is an endemic agamid restricted to the high altitudes of the southern Western Ghats. Distance sampling along line transects was used to estimate its density in Eravikulam National Park (ENP). The habitat association of the species was also examined. Thirty-three 100 m transects were laid randomly in four different habitat types. Eighteen were in 12 shola patches covering an area of 140.87 ha. The density was 55 individuals ha-1 in shola. Males, females and juveniles used similar microhabitats in the shola. Five transects were laid in each of three other habitats: mid-elevation evergreen forest, tea plantations and eucalyptus plantations. The species was detected only in the tea plantations. Density in tea plantations was estimated to be 65 individuals ha-1. Distance sampling can thus be used to monitor populations of this species. The tea plantations surrounding ENP probably support a sizable population, and conservation and management of a landscape dominated by different land uses in the Western Ghats will be crucial for the species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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