With an interesting if not outright appealing appearance, Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris or the Sacred Swamp Wrinkled Frog is as amusing in name as in looks. Endemic to the fast-flowing streams of the Western Ghats of Coorg, this amphibian was first described in 1920.  It was assumed to be extinct after its absence from records and sightings for 91 years, until it was rediscovered by herpetologist and amphibian biologist Sathyabhama Das Biju in 2011.

We had identified the right place to photograph this frog based on three years of fieldwork (Shashank’s) focused on amphibians and birds, in Karnataka’s Western Ghats. Our key concerns were ascertaining the right depth at which to set our underwater gear, and hoping to find the frog in the area we had judiciously selected. We worked on a small section of a stream (barely 30 meters in length) over three days, waiting for the frog to turn up. Finally, just 30 minutes before we were due to leave the region, we managed to make this image.

This image won Shashank Dalvi and Prasenjeet Yadav a ‘Special Mention’ at the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards in 2016.