The agamid lizards in India are morphologically and ecologically diverse, inhabiting varied range of altitudes and habitats. Currently, 48 agamid species comprising of 17 Genera and including 20 endemic species have been reported from India. High species diversity of Indian agamids corresponds to regions with evergreen forests, particularly the Himalayas extending in the north-east portions of India (15 species), north eastern states (13 species) and the Western Ghats (14 species). About one-third of the 48 species, are currently classified as critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable according to IUCN, and the remaining species are at lower risk or lacking information. Recent changes in distribution and taxonomy have resulted in more number for species requiring assessments. The non-availability of conservation status assessments for 18 species are a grim reminder that reiterate the need for new and updated assessments. Currently, there is a scarcity of detailed information on the ecology and natural history of most Indian agamid lizards. In this chapter, I emphasize the need for ecological studies on individual species, which are imperative for species conservation, while providing a comprehensive compilation of information on a few rare, endemic and threatened agamid lizard species.
Keywords: Reptilia, Sauria, Agamidae, lizards, India, endemic, endangered, rare, distribution, conservation, biogeographic zones, Pseudocalotes austeniana, abor hills agama, Calotes aurantolabium, orange-lipped forest lizard, Otocryptis beddomii, Indian kangaroo lizard, natural history, IUCN categories, taxonomy.