Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Barkudia insularis is endemic to Orissa, India. It has been documented from only two locations, the type locality of Barkuda Island in Chilka Lake, Ganjam District, and the adjacent Nandan Kanan Biological Park, Cuttack District (Das 1999). Its extent of occurrence is unlikely to exceed 50 km2. It occurs at elevations between 10 and 50 m asl.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: India (Orissa: Chilka Lake)  
Type locality: Barkuda I., Chilka Lake, Madras Pres.
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Source: The Reptile Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species burrows in loose earth around the roots of trees. It is insectivorous and nocturnal (Sharma 2003). A recent collection from Barkuda Island was from scrub forest. In Nandankanan it was found in a semi-evergreen forest patch.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,ii,iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Bauer, A., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Roy, A.D., Murthy, B.H.C.K., Molur, S., Pal, S., Mohapatra, P., Agarwal, I. & Sondhi, S.

Reviewer/s
Bowles, P.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.

Justification
Barkudia insularis is endemic to Orissa and is known from only two localities, Barkuda Island and the Nandankanan Sanctuary and Biological Park. Its extent of occurrence is thought unlikely to exceed 50 km2. The habitat of this species on Barkuda Island, from which the majority of records are known, is highly fragmented and is undergoing a continuing decline due to livestock grazing, slash-and-burn agriculture and clear-felling due to which the species’ survival is affected, and the population is consequently considered severely fragmented. Thus, this species is assessed as Critically Endangered.

History
  • 2010
    Data Deficient
  • 1996
    Data Deficient
  • 1994
    Rare
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Rare
    (IUCN 1990)
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Population

Population
There is no information available on the abundance or population trend for this species, which has only been collected opportunistically on Barkuda Island and is known from a single record from the mainland, at Nandankanan. It is known from only two localities, and forest habitat on Barkuda Island is extensively fragmented. The population is therefore considered to be severely fragmented.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats

The forests in Orissa are very fragmented, as there has been extensive deforestation for fuel-wood and to clear land for agriculture and settlements (WWF 2001). On Barkuda Island especially, the habitat is extremely fragmented as slash and burn and clear felling is practiced and the habitat is under pressure due to livestock grazing. The impacts of these pressures on this skink are unknown, but as it has only been recorded from forest it is likely to be sensitive to forest clearance.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place. It occurs in one protected area, Nandankanan Biological Park, Orissa. Further research on the distribution, threats and habitat trends are needed, and monitoring of the known population is recommended.
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Wikipedia

Barkudia insularis

Map of lake Chilka.

Barkudia insularis is a critically endangered limbless lizard which was described in 1917 by Nelson Annandale and rediscovered in the wild in 2003. Little is known about the species but it is believed to be found only in the mangrove habitats near Barkud Island in Chilka Lake, Odisha, India.[2] The lizard looks like a large earthworm and lives in the subsoil and probably feeds on small arthropods.

The holotype was found in loose earth near the roots of a banyan tree of Badakuda island of Chilika lagoon in 1917. The most recent report of the species is from 2003.

Taxonomic description[edit]

Barkudia (Annandale, Rec. Ind. Mus. xiii, 1917 p. 20 - type species insularis) is characterised by the palatine bones not meeting on the mid-line of the palate, which is toothless; nostril between the nasal and the rostral in an emargination of the latter; supranasals present; pre-frontals and frontoparietals absent; body elongated; no limbs;

Barkudia insularis has the snout depressed, obtusely pointed, projecting strongly beyond the labial margin; rostral large, emarginate laterally to receive the nasal shield; supranasals large, in contact with one another and with the first labial; fronto-nasal broader than long, larger than the frontal; interparietal much larger than the frontal; parietals narrow, obliquely placed, in contact with one another behind it; 3 supraoculars, the first entering the supraciliarly margin, the first two in contact with the frontal; 1 large supraciliary in the angle formed by the 3 suboculars; nasal shield comparatively large, the nostril at its anterior extremity; 1 large loreal; a preocular; lower eyelid composed of 2 or 3 opaque scales; upper eyelid vestigial; 4 supralabials, the third below the eye; ear-opening minute; a singly azygous postmenta; body elongate with 140 ventral scales between the post-mental and pre-anal plates; 20 smooth scales round the mid body. Tip of the tail blunt and not much narrower than the base of the tail.

Light brown above, each dorsal scale with a central dot; altogether thee form 12 or 14 longitudinal lines down the back and along the tail; lower parts whitish; top of head clouded with brown. The type was dug from loose earth at the root of a banyan tree. A second was seen in the same locality by Frederic Henry Gravely in the rainy season of 1919. It burrowed rapidly into the ground.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bauer, A., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Roy, A.D., Murthy, B.H.C.K., Molur, S., Pal, S., Mohapatra, P., Agarwal, I. & Sondhi, S. (2011). "Barkudia insularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Behera, P.K. ECOTECH EDUCATION AND ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION OF THE LAKE CHILIKA, ORISSA.. 
  3. ^ Smith, M. A. 1941 Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia. p. 352-353

Notes[edit]

  • Annandale, N. 1917 Rec.Ind. Mus. 13: 20
  • Biswas, S. or Acharjyo, L.N. (1979) A Note on the Distribution of Barkudia insularis, a Rare Limbless Lizard from Orissa J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 76: 524-525
  • Das, Indraneil; Dattagupta, Basudeb 1997 Rediscovery of the holotypes of Ophisops jerdoni Blyth, 1853 and Barkudia insularis Annandale, 1917. Hamadryad 22 (1): 53-55
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