Studies on Threats to Population Dynamics of Lizards in Tolipir Landscape of Lesser Himalayas of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan
Abu-ul Hassan Faiz
Women University of Azad
Natural ecosystems are facing a rapid decline of biodiversity around the globe, which has critical implications on ecosystem functions and services. Successful conservation efforts to slow this decline rely on the ability to monitor species and understand their ecological role. Such efforts are often hindered by a lack of knowledge regarding arcane interactions. Lizards provide several key regulating and supporting ecosystem services, including insect suppression and nutrient cycling. However, trophic interactions that occur in both natural and anthropogenically impacted systems remain largely obscured. Exploring the diversity, diet, and anthropogenic pressure of lizard distributions along elevation gradient and diet can also aid in the understanding of their foraging ecology, which will guide future management. In territories of Pakistan, lizards are represented by 103 species and are facing anthropogenic, climatic, and natural predator pressures. The present study was conducted in Tolipir landscape of lesser Himalayas to record mortality of lizards by anthropogenic pressure in villages, streams, road kills and natural predators during summer season. We estimated 1000 lizards are killed in area of 40 km2. Species killed are Laudakia tuberculata, Eublepharis macularius, Cyrtopodion rohtasfortai, Eurylepis taeniolatus, Asymblepharus (= Scincella) himalayanus, Asymblepharus (= Scincella) ladacensis. Domestic cats, dogs, and the superstitious behavior of uneducated humans also are causing significant losses in lizard populations. We have to plan for conservation by emerging methodologies and technologies to provide new windows into these otherwise opaque questions.