Evaluating Habitat Distributions and Conservation Challenges of Himalayan Newt (Tylototrinus verrucosus Anderson, 1871) in Thinleygang, Punakha District, Bhutan

Chungdu Tshering *

Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forest Research and Training, Lamai Goenpa, Bumthang, Bhutan.

Tshering Wangmo

Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Bhutan.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aims: This study reports the distribution of Tylototriton verrucosus in different habitats and its conservation challenges in the locality.

Study Design: Opportunistic collection and measurements in diverse habitats (forest, stream, paddy fields, and roads) were gathered in the post-monsoon seasons. A semi-structured questionnaire survey was employed to gather perceptions and awareness of locals on the occurrence and survival of Himalayan newt. A 3200m2 area was surveyed by dividing it into 32 plots for sampling (8 plots per habitat type).

Place and Duration of Study: The study area is located in Thinleygang (27.66°N by 89.83°E), in Punakha district.

Methodology: Opportunistic sampling across diverse habitats (forest, stream, paddy field, and roads) recorded 70 newt individuals. Questionnaire surveys (n=30) gathered local perceptions. Data on habitat distribution, threats, and awareness were analyzed to inform conservation challenges faced by the species.

Results: A population of 70 newts was observed. Female dominance was noted (1:1.45). Morphological traits showed minimal sexual dimorphism. The highest density occurred in paddy fields (31.05/100 m²). People were aware of newts, but habitat changes, pollution, and habitat loss were perceived threats. Altitude and slope showed no significant correlation with newt distribution in the study area. Conservation was deemed important due to cultural beliefs and habitat deterioration.

Conclusion: Newts were prevalent in various habitats, with the highest occurrence in paddy fields (52%), followed by forests (24%), streams (22%), and roadsides (2%). Their activity was influenced by weather conditions, being more frequent during rainy periods and specific duration of the day. Habitat preferences and behavior varied during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. Conservation concerns were evident, with perceptions of population decline attributed to human-induced threats like land use change, pollution, and habitat loss. Potential conservation strategies include preserving existing habitats, creating new aquatic environments, and promoting traditional agricultural practices.

Keywords: Salamanders, opportunistic collection, threats, Himalayan newt

How to Cite

Tshering , C., & Wangmo , T. (2023). Evaluating Habitat Distributions and Conservation Challenges of Himalayan Newt (Tylototrinus verrucosus Anderson, 1871) in Thinleygang, Punakha District, Bhutan. Asian Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry, 9(4), 171–179. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajraf/2023/v9i4244


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