Why in news?
A study carried out by researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, undertook to characterise urbanisation in the region and also to understand where the rock agama reside in and around Bengaluru specifically.
- The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) which is a type of garden lizard has a strong presence in southern India. Habitat loss and other such features of urbanisation have affected the presence of the animal in urban centres.
- The study, published in Frontiers in Conservation Science, examined several environmental factors that could affect the presence of the lizard and revealed that they are found mainly in rocky places and warm spots.
- conservation efforts must point towards retaining rocky patches even while reviving landscapes by planting trees.
- This lizard is a large animal, strikingly coloured in orange and black. They do not generate their own body heat, so they need to seek warmth from external sources like a warm rock or a sunny spot on the wall. They are important in ecology from different aspects — they can indicate which parts of the city are warming, and their numbers show how the food web is changing.
these lizards eat insects and are in turn eaten by raptors, snakes and dogs, they cannot live in places where there are no insects. “Insects are critical components of a healthy ecosystem as they provide so many services, including pollination. So, while rock agamas are interesting in themselves, they are also a good model system to understand other aspects of the ecosystem,”