In search of the Himalayan Salamander

The earliest salamanders were known from their fossil which existed on the face of earth in the Middle Jurassic age at present Kyrgyzstan[1]. Himalayan Salamanders are one of the rarest and oldest amphibian that exists  from the Jurassic age in the hills of Darjeeling. They were considered extinct from this planet before they were found living in 1964 at Jorepokhari, Darjeeling. When we went to visit Namthing Pokhri in 2013, the Jorepokhri had lost its oldest inhabitant due to tourism promotion initiative of some foolish people[2].

It was the intense summer heat that prompted us to go for a short vacation in North Bengal. We planned to stay three days at Mongpong a little hamlet close to the Coronation Bridge, also known as the Sevoke Bridge.  This was to be followed by a one day trip to Kalimpong. 

The WBFDC cottage at Mongpong is a nice little nook to stay for a day or two.  The cottage we stayed at Mongpong: P1020400  Our stay was made even more comfortable by three nice people who took care of our worldly needs, providing us with steaming food and drinks whenever we requested.

References:

  1. Marjanovic, D.; Laurin, M. (2014). “An updated paleontological timetree of lissamphibians, with comments on the anatomy of Jurassic crown-group salamanders (Urodela)”. Historical Biology. doi:10.1080/08912963.2013.797972
  2. http://darjeelingtimes.com/archive/magazine-edition/eco-darjeeling/272-himalayan-salamander-facing-extinction-in-darjeeling-hills.html
Advertisements