Diversity, Abundance, and Distribution of Anurans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Abdul Majid *

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Soneela Azim

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Kamran Nawaz

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Siraj U Din

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: This paper presents a comprehensive study of the Anuran fauna of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, which was conducted across nine districts.  After the collection and identification of specimens from the study area, their diversity, relative abundance (RA), and distribution (C) were evaluated to understand their distribution patterns within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Place and Duration of Study: Anurans were collected from the districts of Peshawar, Dir, Bannu, Buner, Charsadda, Chitral, Karak, Lakki Marwat, and Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from July to September 2021 and from April to June 2022.

Study Design: Visual encounter surveys were conducted during different seasons, encompassing both daytime and nighttime observations near various water bodies such as water channels, small pools, and microhabitats suitable for the anurans. Emphasis was placed on the collection of specimens from diverse habitats. The collected specimens underwent thorough morphological and morphometric analyses to accurately identify the species.

Methodology: In total, 190 specimens were collected and transported to the laboratory for identification. The collected specimens were euthanized, carefully arranged, and preserved in glass jars filled with a 10% formalin solution. Accurate species identification was achieved through the utilization of authentic literature, updated taxonomic keys, and observation and measurement of morphological and morphometric parameters.

Results: The specimens that were examined and identified belonged to two families, Bufonidae and Dicroglossidae, and five genera. Two genera were observed in the Bufonidae family, Duttaphrynus and Bufotes. The Dicroglossidae family comprised three genera: Hoplobatrachus, Euphlyctis, and Allopaa. In the current study, seven different species were identified: Duttaphrynus stomaticus, Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Bufotes surdus from the Bufonidae family, and Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Euphlyctis kalasgramensis, and Allopaa hazarensis from the Dicroglossidae family. Duttaphrynus stomaticus was the most abundant species found at all the study sites (C=88.8% and RA=44.2%), whereas Euphlyctis kalasgramensis and Allopaa hazarensis were sporadic (C=11.1% and RA=0.52%), and (C=11.1% and RA=2.10%), respectively. Furthermore, this research unveils the first-ever report of Euphlyctis kalasgramensis within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, specifically in the Peshawar District, while Allopaa hazarensis was solely reported in the Dir district.

Conclusion: The study found that Duttaphrynus stomaticus exhibited a vast distribution across all nine districts surveyed.  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, being an ecologically diverse area, holds diverse anuran fauna. Taxonomic revision of the anuran fauna using both classical and molecular approaches may yield several new taxa. This will further help in the study of biology and conservation as well as the ecological role of anurans. The current taxonomic work may require improvement.

Keywords: Anurans, khyber pakhtunkhwa, species diversity, relative abundance, taxonomic identification, morphological analysis

How to Cite

Majid , A., Azim , S., Nawaz , K., & Din , S. U. (2023). Diversity, Abundance, and Distribution of Anurans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, 6(4), 51–70. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajriz/2023/v6i4122


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