Uddhav Thackeray's son, Tejas discovers 11 rare species of crabs in Western Ghats

Jun 26, 2018, 18:50 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The task of discovering the species involved numerous field trips and expeditions across Kokan, Satara, Kolhapur and Ahemadnagar in the past two-three years which resulted in the discovery of all these species

Uddhav Thackeray's son, Tejas discovers 11 rare species of crabs in Western Ghats
Aditya Thackeray and his brother Tejas. Pic/ Satej Shinde

Tejas Thackeray, the younger son of Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, has reportedly discovered 11 new species and 1 new genus of freshwater crabs in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. The discovery once again emphasises the importance of protecting the Sahyadris, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna.

The scientific research paper by Tejas Thackeray and his team was published in the latest issue of the New Zealand’s renowned international journal Zootaxa on Monday. "I am very happy to share the news that our scientific paper about the discovery of 11 new species and 1 new genus of freshwater crabs from the Sahyadris of Maharashtra, India has been finally published in the Zootaxa journal. This discovery would not have been possible without the efforts and hard work taken by our team," Tejas said.

The task of discovering the species involved numerous field trips and expeditions across Kokan, Satara, Kolhapur and Ahemadnagar in the past two-three years which resulted in the discovery of all these species. "This entire project is a result of my field team's sheer hard work. They have spent days and weeks at stretch on the road with me away from their homes. I would like to thank the Maharashtra state forest department for granting me the collection and survey permits. Former Maharashtra PCCF Shree Bhagwan ji made sure the project went on smoothly and has been of great help throughout the process.

rare crabs

"Tejas had a special mention for Maharashtra researcher Dr Sameer Kumar Pati. He said, " Dr Sameer Kumar Pati assisted me during the trips and helped me identify the stunning creatures that I found on my expeditions across the remote valleys, plateaus and mountains of the Sahayadris."

The team has named the new genus 'Sahyadriana' that has been derived from "Sahyadri", the name for the Western Ghats in the Marathi Language. The genus is endemic to this Mountain range, proving once again the importance to protect and preserve this biodiversity hotspot.

On February 27 , 2016 midday did a story (Shiv Sena Chief's Younger Son Discovers New Species Of Crabs In Western Ghats) in which it was stated that how team of three researchers including Dr S K Pati, Tejas Thackeray and Anil Khaire discovered five new species of freshwater crabs from the Sahyadri range in the Western Ghats. A research paper on their discovery was published in the international journal Zootaxa on February 23.

They inspired me
Thackeray also told mid day that he have dedicated two species to Veteran wildlife conservationist and author Billy Arjan Singh and renowned naturalist and biologist Alfred Russell Wallace .who had inspired him to take up the task of wildlife conservation. " I’ve literally grown up looking up to them and wanted to honour them for what they have done all their lives. I want their legacy to live forever and inspire generations," said Thackeray.

Tejas Thackarey also remarked that this discovery of rare species of crabs has once again necessitated the need for conservation of the ecologically and biologically rich Western Ghats."The Western Ghats are critically important and more efforts needs to be taken to protect the biological hotspots because they give us new species consistently all the time," he added

Expert comment
"The discovery by Tejas Thackeray is a very important achievement for the scientific fraternity because they have done an amazing research work on the freshwater crabs species which was otherwise a neglected group. The research by the team has once again proved that how important the biologically rich sahyadris and western ghats are." said Renowned Herpetologist, Conservationist and Wildlife Researcher Dr Varad Giri.

About publishing the scientific paper
The researchers have to first write a detailed paper about the new species that they have found or discovered. The detailed paper is then sent to the scientific journal where the referees( experts on that particular group from the world) review the paper and only when they are convinced about the research and methodology, the paper is finally published in the journal.

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Box - Names of the freshwater crabs 
1- Ghatiana botti
2- Ghatiana pulchra
3- Ghatiana rathbunae
4- Gubernatoriana longipes
5- Gubernatoriana marleshwarensis
6- Gubernatoriana wallacei
7- Sahyadriana billyarjani
8- Sahyadriana pachyphallus
9- Sahyadriana sahyadriensis
10- Sahyadriana tenuiphallus
11- Sahyadriana woodmaso

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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