Ecological status of Indian golden rock gecko, Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome, 1870) in lakhari valley wildlife sanctuary and around Mahendragiri hills of South Odisha, India
Udaya Kumar Das, Sanjeeb Kumar Behera, Amita P Dash, Bibhuti Bhusan Behera
The Indian Golden Gecko Calodactylodesaureus (Beddome 1870) is an endemic reptile species largely confined to the Eastern Ghats of India distributed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. We conducted the study to evaluate the habitat patches in suitable areas in South Odisha. This endangered species of lizards conserved as Scheduled I category protected animal under wildlife protection Act 1972 and is listed as “Least Concern” in IUCN Red list. The animal occupies more suitable patches near water body with big stones to adhere the mass nesting eggs. Temperature and humidity pattern is a factor for population distribution along with altitudinal variation in spatial distribution. The habitat suitability in Odisha part of Eastern Ghats of Ganjam district depends on the land use pattern within C. aureus habitat. Our results also reveal that the distribution beyond northern portion of the River Rushikulya is poor. However, there are habitat patches in upper regions in and around Lakhari valley sanctuary. The upper Rushikulya river basin in old Phulbani district in Mandsaur biodiversity hot spots is the northern most part for C. aureus distribution in Odisha. More research is required to co-relate environmental parameters that sustains its conservation in changing climatic eras and conservation of the species.