Varad Giri, Ph.D.



    Ph.D., Zoology, North Orissa University.,M.S., Entomology, Shivaji University.,B.S., Zoology, Shivaji University.

    Dr. Varad Giri mainly works on the conservation of caecilians and lizards of the Western Ghats, India. His work is mainly focused on conducting intensive surveys in less explored areas to understand the diversity, distribution and conservation issues of the species and their habitats. One of the difficulties in effective conservation initiatives is unstable taxonomy of amphibians and reptiles in this region. One of the important outcomes of these explorations over the last decade is that they lead to new species descriptions, taxonomic revisions and designation of new and proper taxonomic keys, which can be used in the future by researchers and conservation organizations. Varad also wishes to digitize the type specimens and relative data of amphibians and reptiles from India which are deposited in western museums. This will lead to a big breakthrough for people engaged in taxonomic studies in India as this material is difficult to access for various reasons. Varad Giri is a taxonomist and is and specialized in taxonomy of caecilians of the Western Ghats and Indian Geckos. He is intensively working on the documentation of herpetofauna of the northern Western Ghats for the last decade. This area is grossly understudied and considered unsuitable for amphibians and reptiles. But Varad’s findings prove that this particular landscape, which has wide array of habitat diversity, supports a unique diversity of amphibians and reptiles. The unique habitat features like high altitude and coastal rocky plateaus are unique to this region. This entire landscape, though part of the Western Ghats is highly fragmented and under tremendous anthropogenic pressure. This is leading to the serious conservation issues of certain habitat species and endemic species of this region. Varad mainly work on documentation of species diversity of amphibians and reptiles and their distribution in the Western Ghats. This study mainly composed of intensive field surveys covering various habitats and seasons, proper taxonomy using modern taxonomic tools and designating this knowledge to respective agency for effective conservation. He does his work on caecilians with experts like Drs. Mark Wilkinson and David Gower of Natural History Museum, London. His work on taxonomy of geckos is mostly in collaboration with Dr. Aaron Bauer of Villanova University, USA. This entire effort has already resulted in the description of about 2 new genera and 25 new species of amphibians and reptiles from India. The ongoing work may also result in equal number of new additions. Apart from this much of his work also deals with proper taxonomic assessment of various endemic species of amphibians and reptiles from India. One of the potential contributions is the study on caecilians of the northern Western Ghats and development of taxonomic key to the genus Hemidactylus of India. He also work with local NGOs, respective forest department personnel and local community to disseminate the knowledge for the effective conservation of species and its habitat. Recently some of the areas in the northern Western Ghats are included in World Heritage Sites and Varad was instrumental in this entire process. He feels that the type specimens are many species of Indian amphibians and reptiles are in the western Museums. For a taxonomist in India accessing this material is difficult because they do not have such huge funding to visit these museums. This is resulting in wrong identification and wrong species descriptions which is of a grave conservation concern. To mitigate this problem, he wishes to digitize these type specimens and their respective taxonomic data. This entire data and respective images will be freely available in open forum so that taxonomists in India will have an virtual access to the type specimens.

    GOWER, D.J., V. GIRI, V.R. TORSEKAR, K. GAIKWAD & M. WILKINSON (2013): On the taxonomic status of Gegeneophis nadkarnii Bhatta & Prashanth, 2004 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae). Zootaxa 3609 (2): 204–212.,AGARWAL, I, A. DATTA-ROY, A.M. BAUER & V.B. GIRI (2012): Rediscovery of Geckoella jeyporensis (Squamata: Gekkonidae), with notes on morphology, coloration and habitat. Hamadryad 36 (1): 17-24.,A.M. BAUER, R. VYAS, T.R. JACKMAN, A. LAJMI & V.B. GIRI (2012): Hemidactylus porbandarensis Sharma,1981 is a synonym of Hemidactylus robustus Heyden, 1827. Hamadryad 36(1): 46-51.,SMITH, E.N., H. OGALE, V. DEEPAK & V.B. GIRI (2012): A new species of coralsnake of the genus Calliophis (Squamata: Elapidae) from the West Coast of Peninsular India. Zootaxa 3437: 51-68.,BIJU, S.D., I. BOCXLAER, S. MAHONY, K.P. DINESH, C. RADHAKRISHNAN, A. ZACHARIAH, V. GIRI & F. BOSSUYT (2011): A taxonomic review of the Night Frog genus Nyctibatrachus Boulenger, 1882 in the Western Ghats, India (Anura: Nyctibatrachidae) with description of twelve new species. Zootaxa 3029: 1–96.,GOWER, D.J., D. SAN MAURO, V. GIRI, G. BHATT, V. GOVINDAPPA, R. KOTHARAMBATH, O.V. OOMMEN, F.A. FATIH, J.A. MACKENZIE-DODDS, R.A. NUSSBAUM, S.D. BIJU, Y.S. SHOUCHE, M. WILKINSON (2011): Molecular systematics of caeciliid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Western Ghats, India. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 698–707.,INES VAN BOCXLAER, S.D. BIJU, BERT WILLAERT, VARAD B. GIRI, YOGESH S. SHOUCHE, FRANKY BOSSUYT (2011): Mountain-associated clade endemism in an ancient frog family (Nyctibatrachidae) on the Indian subcontinent. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 839–847.,GIRI, V., D.J. GOWER, K. GAIKWAD & M. WILKINSON (2011): A second species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) lacking secondary annular grooves. Zootaxa 2815: 49–58.,AGARWAL, I, V.B. GIRI & A.M. BAUER (2011): A new cryptic rock-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from south India. Zootaxa 2765: 21-37.,BAUER A. M., T. R. JACKMAN, E. GREENBAUM, A. DE SILVA, V. B. GIRI & I. DAS (2010): Molecular evidence for the taxonomic status of Hemidactylus brookii group taxa (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Herpetological Journal 20: 129-138.,BAUER, A. M., T. R. JACKMAN, E. GREENBAUM, V. B. GIRI & A. DE SILVA (2010): South Asia supports a major endemic radiation of Hemidactylus geckos. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57: 343-352.,GAIKWAD, K.S., H. KULKARNI, R. BHAMBURE & V.B. GIRI (2010): Notes on the distribution, natural history and variation of Hemidactylus albofasciatus (Grandison and Soman, 1963) (Squamata: Gekkonidae). J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc. 106 (3): 305-312.,GIRI, V.B., A. M. BAUER, R. VYAS & S. PATIL (2009): A new species of rock dwelling gecko, Hemidactylus gujaratensis sp. nov. (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Gujarat, India. Journal of Herpetology 43 (3): 385–393.,GIRI, V.B., K.S. GAIKWAD & A.M. BAUER (2009): A new ground dwelling species of Cnemaspis Strauch (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India. Zootaxa 2164: 49-60.,GIRI, V.B., I. AGARWAL & A.M BAUER (2009): Designation of a Neotype for Cnemaspis mysoriensis (Jerdon 1853) (Sauria: Gekkonidae), with a redescription and notes on its distribution and habitat. Russian Journal of Herpetology 16 (4): 256 – 264.,S.D. BIJU, I. BOCXLAER, V.B. GIRI, S.P. LOADER & F. BOSSUYT (2009): Two new endemic genera and a new species of toad (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Western Ghats of India. BMC Research Notes 2: 241.,GOWER, D.J., V.B. GIRI, M.S. DHARANE & Y.S. SHOUCHE (2008): Frequency of independent origins of viviparity among caecilians (Gymnophiona): evidence from the first ‘live-bearing’ Asian amphibian. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21: 122-1226.,GIRI V.B. & A.M. BAUER (2008): A new ground-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Maharashtra, with a key to the Hemidactylus of India. Zootaxa 1700: 21–34.,GIRI, V.B. (2008): A new rock-dwelling Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from Maharashtra, India. Hamadryad 32 (1): 25-33.,BAUER, A.M., V.B. GIRI, E. GREENBAUM, T.R. JACKMAN, M.S. DHARNE & Y.S. SHOUCHE (2008): On the systematics of the gekkonid genus Teratolepis Günther, 1869: another one bites the dust. Hamadryad 32, 13–27.,GOWER, D.J., M. DHARNE, G. BHATTA, V.B. GIRI, R. VYAS, V. GOVINDAPPA, O.V. OOMMEN, J. GEORGE, Y. SHOUCHE & M. WILKINSON (2007): Remarkable genetic homogeneity in unstriped, long-tailed Ichthyophis along 1500km of the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Zoology 272: 266–275.,GOWER, D. J., V.B. GIRI & M. WILKINSON (2007): Rediscovery of Gegeneophis seshachari Ravichandran, Gower & Wilkinson, 2003 at the type locality (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae): Herpetozoa 19 (3/4): 121 – 127.,BIJU, S.D., I.V. BOCXLAER, V.B. GIRI, K. ROELANTS, J. NAGARAJU & F. BOSSUYT (2007): A new nightfrog, Nyctibatrachus minimus sp. nov. (Anura: Nyctibatrachidae): The smallest frog from India. Current Science 93 (6): 854-858.,GIRI, V.B. & A. BAUER (2006): Notes on the distribution, natural history and variation of Hemidactylus prashadi Smith, 1935. Hamadryad Vol. 30 (1&2): 55-60.,VENKATACHALAIAH, G., G. VENU, V.B. GIRI & M. WILKINSON (2006): Studies on the karyotype of Indotyphlus battersbyi Taylor (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). Journal of Cytology and Genetics 7: 47-56.,GIRI, V.B., V. KATDARE, D. FERNANDES & A. RAHMANI (2006): The status of sea turtles on the Maharashtra and Goa coasts. In: Towards an integrated and collaborative sea turtle conservation programme in India: a UNEP/CMS-IOSEA Project Report (eds. K. Shanker and H.V. Andrews). Centre for Herpetology/Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Post Bag 4, Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. pp 45-57.,BAUER, A., V.B. GIRI, S. KEHIMKAR & I. AGARWAL (2005) Notes on Hemidactylus gracilis Blanford 1870, a Poorly Known Indian Gecko. Gekko 4 (1).,VYAS, R., V.B. GIRI & BAUER, A. M. (2005): First record of Hemidactylus persicus Anderson, 1872 (Squamata: Sauria: Gekkonidae) from the Republic of India, with notes on its distribution. Hamadryad 30 (1): 209–211.,GIRI, V.B., GOWER, D.J. & WILKINSON, M. (2004) A new species of Indotyphlus Taylor (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from the Western Ghats of India. Zootaxa 739: 1-19.,BAUER, A. & V.B. GIRI (2004): On the systematic status of Geckoella deccanensis (Günther, 1864) and G. albofasciata (Boulenger, 1885) (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Hamadryad 28 (1&2): 51-58.,GOWER, D.J., G. BHATTA, V.B. GIRI, O.V. OOMMEN, M.S. RAVICHANDRAN & M. WILKINSON (2004): Biodiversity in the Western Ghats: the discovery of new species of caecilian amphibians. Current Science 87: 739-740.,GIRI, V.B., WILKINSON, M. & GOWER, D. J. (2003) A new species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from the Western Ghats of southern Maharashtra, India, with a key to the species of the genus. Zootaxa 351: 1-10.,GIRI, V.B., WILKINSON, M. & GOWER, D. J. (2003) A new species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from the Western Ghats of southern Maharashtra, India, with a key to the species of the genus. Zootaxa 351: 1-10.,GIRI, V.B. & A. BAUER & N. CHATURVEDI (2003): Notes on the distribution, natural history and variation of Hemidactylus giganteus Stoliczka 1871. Hamadryad Vol. 27 (2): 217-221.,GIRI, V.B. & N. CHATURVEDI (2003): Status of Marine Turtles of Maharashtra. Kachhapa Issue No. 8: 11-15.,SIVAKUMAR, S., R. MANAKADAN & V.B. GIRI (2003) Report of the painted kaloula Kaloula taprobanica in Andhra Pradesh. J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc. 100 (2&3): 631.,GIRI, V.B. & N. CHATURVEDI (2003): Status of Marine Turtles in Maharashtra,   India. Kachhapa (2000) Issue No. 8.,GIRI, V.B. (2002): Occurrence of Ceylon Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger) in Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary. J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc.,GIRI, V.B. & N. CHATURVEDI (2001): Preliminary Survey of Herpetofauna in the Western Ghats Region of Maharashtra. Tigerpaper_XXVIII 2: 1-7.,GIRI, V.B. & N. CHATURVEDI (2001): Survey of Marine Turtles along the coast of Maharashtra and Goa (2002). _Proceedings of the National Workshop for the development of a National Sea Turtle Conservation Action Plan, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. Ed. Kartik Shanker and B. C. Choudhury. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.,GIRI, V.B., V. HEGDE & V. PATIL (2001): Occurrence of Ceylon Kaloula Kaloula taprobanica (Family: Microhylidae) at Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu. J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc. 98 (1): 121.,GIRI, V.B. & V. HEGDE (2001) Occurrence of Cnemaspis kandianus in Amboli Maharashtra. J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc. Vol. 98 (3): 454.,CHATURVEDI, N., V.B. GIRI & V. HEGDE (2001): Migration of Commander Butterfly Limenitis procris (Cramer). J. Bom. nat. Hist. Soc. 98 (2): 301.,GIRI, V.B. (2001): Preliminary Survey of Sea Turtles along the Coast of Maharashtra and Goa. Kachhapa Issue No. 4.