AHM Ali Reza
Ph.D. Student, Texas Tech University
Research: Herpetofaunal Species Richness in the Tropical Forests of Bangladesh
Species/Topic: Herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles)
Situated in tropical Asia, Bangladesh is a global 'Biodiversity Hotspot' containing a unique and highly diverse biota and a wide range of poorly unexplored habitats. Roughly 126 species of reptiles and 22 species of amphibians have previously been documented from the country, but survey effort has been limited to few studies, mostly conducted over 50 years ago. More than 43% of amphibians and reptiles were categorized by the IUCN Bangladesh as 'Data Deficient', indicating lack of even basic information. Rapidly escalating human demands for natural resources are causing population, species, and ecosystems to disappear at an unprecedented rate. With 147 million people occupying roughly the same area as Iowa, Bangladesh is among the most densely populated nations on the earth. In such an overpopulated landmass, making a plan to conserve all of its forest habitats is an ambitious objective. Therefore, I am proposing to prioritize the forest habitats based on their species richness and initiate immediate conservation measures on the selected highly diverse and critically important habitats.
Reza was awarded a Small Grant in 2005 as well.