Biodiversity and Ecology of the Herpetofauna of Cholistan Desert, Pakistan

Khalid Javed Baig, Rafaqat Masroor, Mohammad Arshad


Present studies are aimed to document the herpetofauna of Cholistan Desert and study its ecology. During the last three years from 2001 to 2003, attempts have been made to collect and observe the amphibians and reptiles in different parts of Cholistan Desert. More than four thousand specimens belonging to 44 species have so far been collected/observed from the study area. Among different collecting techniques adopted for these studies, “Pit-fall” traps and “Hand Picking” showed best results. The voucher specimens have been catalogued and are presently lying with Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad.


Amphibians; Reptiles; ecology; Cholistan Desert; Pakistan

Full Text:



Ahmad F. A., Akbar G., Tahir M. B., and Ahmad I. (1992), «Developing Cholistan Desert — a perspective», Progr. Farming, 12(6), 35 – 40.

Akbar G., Khan T. N., and Arshad M. (1996), «Cholistan Desert — Pakistan», Rangelands, 18(4), 124 – 128.

Arshad M. and Rao A. R. (1994), «The ecological destruction of Cholistan desert and its ecoregeneration», in: Desertification Control Bulletin. No. 41, United Nations Env. Programme, Nairobi, Kenya, pp. 32 – 34.

Baig K. J. and Böhme W. (1991), «Callous scalation in female agamid lizards (Stellio group of Agama) and its functional implications», Bonn. Zool. Beitr., 42 (3–4), 275–281.

Baig K. J. and Böhme W. (1996), «Description of two new subspecies of Laudakia pakistanica (Sauria: Agamidae)», Russ. J. Herpetol., 3(1), 1 – 10.

Baig K. J. (1988a), «Anurans (Amphibia) of northern Pakistan: with special reference to their distribution», Pakistan J. Sci. Ind. Res., 31(9), 651 – 655.

Baig K. J. (1988b), «An unusual tail regeneration in Agama», Pakistan J. Sci. Ind. Res., 31(10), 731 – 732.

Baig K. J. (1988c), «New record of Agama nuristanica (Sauria: Agamidae) from Pakistan», Biologia, 34(1), 199 – 200.

Baig K. J. (1989), «A new species of Agama (Sauria: Agamidae) from northern Pakistan», Bull. Kitakyushu Mus. Nat. Hist., 9, 117 – 122.

Baig K. J. (1990), «Japalura kumaonensis: A new record of the genus and species from Pakistan», Herpetol. Rev., 21(1), 22.

Baig K. J. (1992), Systematic Studies of the Stellio group of Agama (Sauria: Agamidae). Ph.D. Diss., Q. A. Univ., Islamabad.

Baig K. J. (1996), «Herpetofauna of the sub-Himalayan region of Pakistan including Islamabad area», in: Proc. of the DAAD 4th Follow-up Seminar, Islamabad, pp. 35 – 42.

Baig K. J. (1997), «Distribution of Laudakia (Sauria: Agamidae) and its origin», in: Mufti S. A., Woods C. A., and Hassan S. A. (eds.), Biodiversity of Pakistan, PMNH – FMNH, Islamabad – Gainesville, pp. 373 – 381.

Baig K. J. (1998a), «The amphibian fauna of Azad Jammmu and Kashmir with new record of Paa liebigii», Proc. Pakistan Acad. Sci., 35(2), 117 – 121.

Baig K. J. (1998b), «A new species of Tenuidactylus (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Balochistan, Pakistan», Hamadryad, 23(2), 127 – 132.

Baig M. S., Akram M., and Hassan M. A. (1980), «Possibilities for range development in Cholistan desert as reflected by its physiography and soils», Pakistan J. For., 30, 61 – 71.

Boulenger G. A. (1920), «A monograph of the South-Asian Papuan, Melanesian and Australian frogs of the genus Rana», Rec. Ind. Mus. Calcutta, 20, 1 – 223.

Chaudhry S. A. (1992), The Cholistan Desert. A Token Consultancy Report, Cholistan Inst. of Desert Studies, Islamia University, Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Dubois A. and Khan M. S. (1979), A new species of frog (genus Rana subgenus Paa) from northern Pakistan (Amphibia: Anura)», J. Herpetol., 13, 403 – 410.

FAO (1993), Pakistan — Cholistan Area Development Project. Report No. 59/53 ADB-PAK 58 (Final version), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

Khan M. S. (1985), «An interesting collection of amphibians and reptiles from Cholistan Desert», J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 82, 144 – 148.

Khan M. S. (1991), «A new Tenuidactylus gecko from the Sulaiman Range, Punjab, Pakistan», J. Herpetol., 25(2), 199 – 204.

Khan M. S. (1993a), «A new angular-toed gecko from Pakistan, with remarks on the taxonomy and key to the species belonging to the genus Cyrtodactylus (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae)», Pakistan J. Zool., 25(1), 67 – 73.

Khan M. S. (1993b), «A new sand stone gecko from Fort Monro, Dera Ghazi Khan district, Punjab, Pakistan», Pakistan J. Zool., 25(3), 217 – 221.

Khan M. S. (2002), «Key and checklist to the lizards of Pakistan», Herpetozoa, 15(3/4), 99 – 119.

Khan M. S. and Baig K. J. (1988), «Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of district Jhelem, Punjab, Pakistan», The Snake, 20, 156 – 161.

Khan M. S. and Baig K. J. (1992), «A new tenuidactylid gecko from northeastern Gilgit Agency, northern Pakistan», Pakistan J. Zool., 24, 273 – 277.

Khan M. S. and Tasnim R. (1990), A new gecko of the genus Tenuidactylus from northwestern Punjab, Pakistan and southwestern Azad Kashmir», Herpetologica, 46, 142 – 148.

Khan S. R. A. (1987), Desert Agriculture in Cholistan, Arid Zone Research Institute, Quetta [unpublished].

Mertens R. (1969), «Die Amphibiens und Reptiliens West Pakistan», Stutt. Beitr. Naturkunde, 197, 1 – 96.

Minton S. A. (1966), «A contribution to the herpetology of W. Pakistan», Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 134(2), 28 – 184.

Murray J. A. (1884), The Vertebrate Zoology of Sind: A systematic Account, Richard and Co., London.

Smith S. A. (1933), The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 1, Taylor and Francis, London.

Smith S. A. (1935), The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. II, Taylor and Francis, London.

Smith S. A. (1943), The Fauna of British India Ceylon and Burma including the whole of Indo-Chinese sub-region. Vol. III, Taylor and Francis, London.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email