Friday, 24 May 2013

Western Ghats, India

Western Ghats

Mountain range of the Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot, in the north of the river Tapti southern tip of India along the west coast of India.

They are positioned so rich in biodiversity, biogeography unique Western Ghats - a veritable treasure trove of biodiversity. Although covering an area of ​​180,000 square kilometers, 6% of India's land area, just under that contains more than 30 percent of all plants, fish, cranes, animals, birds and mammal species found in India's Western Ghats. Many species are endemic, such as Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius) and lion-tailed macaque (Macaca Silenus), in fact, India's amphibians and 50%, 67% of fish are endemic to the area .
The area has a spectacular combination of large mammals - about 30% of the world's Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population and 17% of the world's existing tiger (Panthera tigris) call this area their home. Through a number of important national wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves, national parks protect these extensions.

Western Ghats, including a diversity of ecosystems, from tropical wet evergreen forest mountain grassland, containing a variety of medicinal plants and important genetic resources, such as wild relatives of cereals, fruits and spices. They also include a unique ecosystem consisting of Saura mountain grasslands dotted with evergreen broadleaf forest patches.

Western Ghats perform important hydrological and watershed functions. Approximately 245 million people live in the Indian peninsula receives originated most of the Western Ghats water. Thus, the region's soil and water to maintain the livelihoods of millions. With the Indo-Malayan region may be an exception, no other biodiversity hotspots affect the lives of such a large population.

Historically, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India has been considerable in the region a strong presence. From the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation's support through the protection of biodiversity "hotspots" program (1993-2005), since the early 1990s, the organization has been actively involved in the Western Ghats region. The current focus of the work has been to identify and map important wildlife corridors, human-elephant conflict mitigation, strengthening protected area management, and promote sustainable livelihoods and assess the status of key species like tigers and Nilgiri tahr development and protection outside protected areas policies. State and local government agencies, civil society organizations and community groups in the region have developed a strong relationship and partnership.