|Date||28 Mar 2017|
Amphibians are the most threatened group of vertebrates with more than 32% species are threatened with extinction globally. Physiological constraints such as permeable skin, anamniotic eggs, and limited vagility have made this group particularly sensitive to rapid habitat changes.
Afghanodon mustersi is totally aquatic small salamanders with length of 119-160 mm. it has 14 costal groves extended onto the tail, 4 fingers and 4 toes, dark olive brown to yellowish olive coloration indistinctly speckled with tiny pigment dots, Snout broadly rounded, and tail is slightly shorter than body. Reilly (1983).
The species is ubiquitous to high elevation torrent stream fed by glaciers approximately 4 km above Paghman town along the three tributaries of the drainage system of Paghman stream in a length of more than 4km. This salamander is seen to occupy only certain sites along the river and the total habitat comes up to about an area of 10 km2 at altitudes ranging between 2440 - 3750 msl. Reilly (1983).
With habitat area of less than 10 km2 and an estimated population of 1000 – 2000 individuals this species is regarded as a critically endangered in IUCN criteria. This is habitat specific and ecologically rare and unique which increases the risk of extinction coupled with threats such as Urbanization, landscape, and promenade creation alongside river.
In Afghanistan, scientific researches in various fields including environmental and biodiversity conservation are in infancy decelerated by continues conflicts, lack of research facilities and research scholars. In spite of its distinct evolutionary signature and global threat status, the species has been least studied and little is known about its biology, morphology, and habitat. There is huge lacuna of knowledge base on this rarest species in the critical habitat.
This project evaluates and document the presence/absence of the species in the all three tributaries of Paghman stream, its distribution along the river and the habitat characteristics.
Besides, the project assess the threats in habitat zone such s Urbanization, landscape and promenade creation alongside river which has increased the risk of extinction of species and the identification of potential habitat for the species is to be done.
The project also has special accent to education and conservation awareness to the mass in order to awaken individual responsibility and communal ownership of our natural resources.
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