Preliminary Assessment of the Diversity and Habitat Preferences of Herpetofauna in Cholistan Desert, Pakistan

Waqas Ali, Arshad Javid, Ali Hussain, Syed Mohsin Bukhari, Saddam Hussain


This one-year survey was conducted from February 2017 to January 2018 to assess the herpetofaunal diversity in Cholistan desert, Bahawalnagar district, Punjab, Pakistan. Field surveys were conducted during dawn and dusk for fifteen consecutive days in alternate months and five sub sampling sites were sampled at ten field visits. Specimens were collected through hand capture, using snake sticks, forceps, drag nets, noose traps, pitfall and funnel traps. Overall, two species of toads, two species of frogs, two species of turtles, ten lizards species and ten snake species belonging to 23 genera and 14 families were recorded. Simpson index was calculated as 0.933, evenness 0.733 and Shannon – Wiener index was 2.947 indicating moderate to high level of diversity. Bufo stomaticus (Pi = 0.1253), Uromastyx hardwickii (Pi = 0.0739) were the dominant amphibian and reptilian species, respectively while Uromastyx asmussi was recorded for the first time in the study area. Hand capture and pitfall traps appeared to be the most effective methods to capture the amphibian and reptiles. The distribution ranges of amphibians and reptiles have changed and such surveys are necessary to update baseline information in the country. We recommend further systematic survey work and molecular analysis of the native species be undertaken in the future to supplement our findings.


river Sutlej; Naja naja; Bangarus caeruleus; Uromastyx asmussi; Uromastyx hardwickii

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