‘Maveli Thavala’ likely to become Kerala’s official frog 

Ashmila Beegam

Purple Frog | Photo: Sandeep Das

Kozhikode: Kerala is likely to get a state frog soon. As per reports, the Purple Frog, regionally known as ‘Maveli Thavala’, might be declared the official frog of Kerala.

A decision in this regard will be taken at the wildlife advisory board’s next meeting on Thursday. The forest department had earlier given a recommendation for the same.

Purple frogs, scientifically called ‘Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis’, are known by different regional names, including 'Pathala Thavala’ and ‘Pannimookkan Thavala’ (pig-nosed frog) among others.

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Endemic to the Western Ghats, these frogs spend most of their lives underground and surface above, only once in a year, for mating purposes.

As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, Purple Frogs are endangered species and face extinction threats.

Dr Sandeep Das, a Zoology lecturer at St Joseph’s College in Irinjalakuda, had pioneered the efforts to declare the Purple Frog as Kerala's official frog. He also had the support of Dr PS Easa, former director, Kerala Forest Research Institute.

The Purple Frog was first discovered in 2003 by Professor Biju of Delhi University. If chosen, Kerala will be the first state in the country to have an official frog.

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