Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 30th, 2007
A new species of legless amphibian discovered by an Indian research team. The dispatch from Panaji gives the details:
The significant discovery at Keri village, 20 km from the Mhadei dam site in Goa, highlights the wealth of biodiversity in the Western Ghats.
The earthworm-like creature has been named Geneophis goansis. It is the first species to be named after Goa, which is tucked in the lap of the Sahyadri hill ranges.
The construction of a dam across the Mhadei river on the Goa-Karnataka border has sparked a row between the neighbours. The dispute is now in the Supreme Court.
“It is… a brand new species,” Nirmal Kulkarni, an environmentalist and a team member, said. The team also comprises Dr. Gopalkrishna Bhat (Professor of Zoology, MGM College, Udupi), Dinesh K. (Zoological Survey of India, Kochi), Nirmal Kulkarni (Goan researcher) and Prashanth P. (Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Karnataka).
“We came across the two specimens… in 2004. Since then we have been on the lookout for further sightings to confirm the findings,” Mr. Kulkarni said. They finally spotted the species under rotting vegetation during the last monsoon. “Molecular studies confirmed that this is a new species, which adds to the existing seven species of the genus Geniophis which is endemic to the Western Ghats,” a team member said.
The discovery “will further support the reasoning behind the opposition to any human development in these hill ranges bordering Goa-Maharashtra and Karnataka,” one expert said. “This discovery further proves the need for extreme caution in dealing with the region. Any wrong act will endanger these species, which would be forever lost to mankind and science,” added Mr. Kulkarni.
The environmentalists pointed out that projects like the Mhadei dam would severely affect the biodiversity of the Sahyadri ranges, which have remained largely pristine. — PTI
Source: January 31, 2007, published in The Hindu, India’s National Newspaper, “New Legless Amphibian Species Found.”
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.