Observation of the Status, Distribution, Habitat and Population Estimation of the Indian Spiny Taile...

M Usman Ali Hashmi, M Zaheer Khan, Nawz ul huda, Karim gabol, Imtyaz

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Observation of the Status, Distribution, Habitat and Population Estimation of the Indian Spiny Tailed Lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) of Thatta District of Sindh Pakistan

M Usman Ali Hashmi1,, M Zaheer Khan2, Nawz ul huda3, Karim gabol2, Imtyaz4

1Department of Zoology, Govt Dehli Science College Hussainabad, Karachi, Pakistan

2Department of Zoology, University of Karachi, Pakistan

3Depratment of Geography, University of Karachi, Pakistan

4Govt Sir- Sayed College.karachi Pakistan


Present abstraction included the current population, status and distribution, habitat of spiny tailed lizard (Saara hardwickii) in Thatta distric of sindh. Investigation was agitated out on febuary 2012 to febuary 2014. During the present abstraction 247 spiny tailed lizard (S.hardwickii) were captured for the ascertainment their morphomatrics and length mass relationship. Two main habitat were begin in Thatta district which were Jung-shahi and Run- Pathani. Atleast 10 sq/km area of Run-pathani and 13 sq/km in the Jung-shahi area has been observed as the patchy population of spiny tailed lizard.The burrows were aswell advised and begin about 5 anxiety ambit to one and each other burrows. Saara hardwickii already included in the IUCN Red list and CITES appendix. Major threats of the species are added Village size, Villagers, Hakims, Jogi, Laboratory use, Hunting for meat, Hunting for trade, Hunting for oil etc. Present analysis achieve that spiny tailed lizard is a Endangered species of Thatta district of Sindh Pkistan.

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Cite this article:

  • Hashmi, M Usman Ali, et al. "Observation of the Status, Distribution, Habitat and Population Estimation of the Indian Spiny Tailed Lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) of Thatta District of Sindh Pakistan." American Journal of Zoological Research 2.3 (2014): 46-50.
  • Hashmi, M. U. A. , Khan, M. Z. , huda, N. U. , gabol, K. , & Imtyaz. (2014). Observation of the Status, Distribution, Habitat and Population Estimation of the Indian Spiny Tailed Lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) of Thatta District of Sindh Pakistan. American Journal of Zoological Research, 2(3), 46-50.
  • Hashmi, M Usman Ali, M Zaheer Khan, Nawz ul huda, Karim gabol, and Imtyaz. "Observation of the Status, Distribution, Habitat and Population Estimation of the Indian Spiny Tailed Lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) of Thatta District of Sindh Pakistan." American Journal of Zoological Research 2, no. 3 (2014): 46-50.

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1. Introduction

In abounding decade we are blind of the population status and distribution, current habitat of Saara hardwickii and agency which may affecting the population of the species of Thatta district of sindh. Due to the said purposes we made field survey for the studies of current population status and distribution, habitat of the spiny tailed lizard of Thatta district. Indian spiny tailed lizard Saara hardwickii has skatchy population in india, Pakistan and Afghanistan, [9, 10, 15, 16]. S.hardwickii has a dorso ventrally bedfast physique with blubbery spiny tailed that awning whorls of annoying scales, average admeasurement with edgeless bill circadian agamids, [16, 18]. S.hardwickii usually bare amber albino olive and darker in colour methods, it some time appearance atramentous spots and bastard like adornment on the foreground of the thigh, their physique has blubbery and derma appearance channelled in some locations of the physique side. The tail has either bluish, blah or albino coloured, [16]. They breeds in spring after emerging from hibernation and lay white pigeon-sized eggs. During ascertainment sun-bath action was aswell empiric, some observation about status and distribution, habitat etc of the lizards are accessible the observer are ([1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9]).

2. Study Area

The study area away from the Haleji lake, on the way of Haleji road. The colonies of S.hardwickii, located at 24.84073- N, 067.74580-E at Jung-shahi and 24.80652-N, 067.74079-E at the Run-pathani area were observed. At least 5-10 Sq / km in Run pathany area has appearance limited of population of S.hardwickii. The abstraction breadth about dry just like desert, bushes and herbs annoying copse were as well scatterd in this area, In Jung-shahi abreast to the Hajji Essa khan goath has as well appearance of S.hardwickii. This breadth in fact appearance apparent with some sand dunes bristling area, no baptize accessible here, Euphorbia and Accasia were acclaimed in locations of this area.

3. Methods

3.1. Sightings

Sightings of Active burrow were considerd as evidence of presence in location and. alone alive couch acclimated to appraise population density of S.hardwicki. Following techniques were used for population estimation and capturing of species etc.

3.2. For Population, Burrows Estimation

For the population density and burrows was estimated by belt transect methods were applied which were preveiously use and give successful result by [14], in which the belt transects were placed 10 km a part(at every second TCS site), 50m from the road’s edge. each belt was 100x20m area and oriented in the north and south direction. three eyewitness absolved paralled 10m apart, along 1, belt transect and counted the number of S.hardwickii and burrows (active and in active).The average time taken to traverse the belt was 7 minutes. if sand dune occurse, only two observers were required travers the belt 20m apart from each other.

3.3. Time Constrained Searches

In this adjustment were activated forth the anchorage at even 5 km point to ascertain the attendance of S.hardwickii in anniversary sites. In the abstraction breadth two searcher, beam for best of six account on either ancillary of the alley by walking forth a aisle that resembled ellipsoidal and amid the attendance of S.hradwickii.Searching were chock-full if apparent an S.hardwickii or an alive couch was sighted in one breadth of absorption or accustomed time if accomplished 6 minutes. This methods was adopted by [3].

3.4. Methods of Capturing or Hunting

Hunting or capturing techniques were adopted by Jogis,Hunters, Local Villagers, local Tribes were very useful to capture or hunt for S.hardwickii in certain study areas. It was observed that all active or un active burrows have single opening or mouth and which extended a long single tunnel. Following techniques were also very helpful for capturing of S.hardwickii.

(1)Noosing. (2)Flooding. (3)Excavation. (4)Smashing. (5)Made Snake Mimicry. (6)Chasing with two Observer / Hunters. (7)Hunting Through pets animals, Dogs, Cats Etc.

For population estimation random sampling were taken and monthly sample were collected by capture release, recapture and relaease method for noted their morphomatrics characters. A total Counts of S.hardwickii was done once in each season for density of population and age and nearest neighbor analysis for the pattern of burrow distribution, the average distance of hatchling burrow from adult burrows was tested with that from equal number of any burrow. After captured of S.hardwickii first of all Tagged, and then noted Sexes, Length, Mass (weight), Colouration and others imporatnt character were observed respectively.

4. Results and Discussion

During field survey and observation it is observed that Indian spiny tiled lizard (S.hardwickii) use only self burrow, Spiny tailed lizard are know excavate their own burrows and their exists a 1:1 correspondance of active burrows to individual, [15, 16]. Through observation we are able to conclud that S.hardwickii are observed, active and forgaging between March to August and Spetember and other remains of months they may hibernate. So the best time of the population observation and burrows searchning were noted March to September when S.hardwickii movined easily in their Territory. All hunting techniques accept chasing with two man and with chasing pets animals, involved destruction /damaged of the Burrows (house) of the S.hardwickii. During observation we find out some others facts that some villagers and tribes belive that use of meat of S.hardwickii in the cold temperature for maintained body temperature, as wel as ‘Sanda Oil’ were also use for pain relives in the joints pain, Specialy chronic pain, back pain and also maintain sex stamina of male orgasm,(a main cause of hunting in huge quantity), use as kajal in the eyes, for better vision of the eyes, use small amount of oil in the lamps in the villages and others medicinal purposes. Some other facts were also noticed that when first time individual of S.hardwickii emerge from the burrow. S.hardwickii show olive gray in colour and due to basking the resultened become lighter and show then brown in colour or sandy colour as wel as on back dark vermiculations are very much clear, Figure 5 - Figure 6. Juvenile live with mothers burrow. The burrow pattern were very much interesting in manner, Adult burrow were mostly zigzag (z) shape or (L) in shape in depth (Figure 7) with one opening and for the first un- mature of S.hardwickii show the pattern of burrow in (u) shape or spiral manner and less depth as compared to adult Figure 8. For population estimation random sampling were taken by capture release, recapture and relaease method for their morphomatrics characters. due to capture release and recapture release method we are able to find out changes of the morphomatrics, and others singnificant changes.

Figure 1. Complete Closed Burrow (Active Burrow)
Figure 4. S.hardwickii During hibernation in their chamber

Investigation for population estimation, The present observation of S.hardwickii was done in Thatta district, It was found that S.hardwickii has show very less population and considerd as endangerd species in Run- pathani and Jung-shahi of Thatta, Figure 9 and Table 1. as compared to last 5-10 years. The covered population area are very-much reduced by human activities. The burrows were lie 4-5 feet in distance to each other burrows. The burrows were noted 5-10 burrows in one sq/km. During investigation it was noted that mostly burrows were Destroyed by human intrest, Villagers, Hunters, captured for food for oil, for laboratory experiments, research, for herbal medicine, folk medicine, also use as pet animals, some predators as like foxes, V.griseus, Snakes, Eagles Etc, are the main threats of the specis of S.hardwickii of Thatta district of Sindh. The average (SVL) of S.hardwickii of Thatta were 24.183 cm in the length range of 05-49cm, and average male (SVL) were 32.128cm, in the length range of 15-49cm, and average female (SVL) of S.hardwickii were 32.456 cm, in the length range of 05-49cm. The average mass of male were 196.02gm, and average mass of female were 187.63gm. The juvenile were noted 40 in numbers, where as (SVL) were 12.95cm, in the legth range of 05-14cm, and mass of juvenile were 54.975gm, Table 1. The present field survey and observation has show that Uromastyx hardwickii (S.hardwickii) is still considerd as endangerd species, as before the worker considerd as endangerd species in Pakistan, [9]; ‘Vulnerable’ in India, [13], Since the distribution range appears to have contracted drastically in both countries. [19], Observed that the burrow mouth were kept open for a considerable time in the early morning, stimulating the animal to emerge, and blocked with loose soil on retreat. This maintained a thermal refuge for the lizard under temperature extremes and protected them from predators, same observation was done during observation of S.hardwickii of Thatta distric of Sindh. [17], observed some of predators of U.hardwickii. We were also observed same investigation of preydators of S.hardwickii as like Eagles, Foxes, V.griseus, Snakes. Crows observed to be detritous feeder not a preydator animal, which are opposed by the investigation of [17].

Figure 9. Current Habitat of S.hardwickii, Study area At Thatta District of Sindh.Pakistan

Table 1. Current Population and Length / Mass of Saara hardwickii in Thatta (Sindh) Pakistan

5. Conclusion

The over all current status of S.hardwickii is considerd as endangerd species of Thatta district. Need very much intention and conservation plan. The major threats are human activities as like Hunting for trade, Hunting for extraction of Oil, Hunting for use meat, increasing villages’s Sizes and of Population. S.hardwickii is a very much shy lizard, So human interaction or any others activity made aggression of this lizard. Due to human activity, S.hardwickii may some what Migrate or Perish.


Iam very much thank ful to the Prof.Dr.M Zaheer khan (Wild life & Fishry) Department of zoology University of karachi for their cooperation and Valuable suggestion. Humble thanks for the Prof Dr Maqbool Ahmed for their moral support and great gathering during field survey, Thanks for the Dpartment of Zoology Dehli Govt Science College, Hussianabad Karachi for their support, My heartiest thanks for the Department of Zoology University of Karachi for assistance, Bottom of the Heartiest thanks to the Dr.Nawaz ul Huda for Map and GPS reading assistance.


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