WESTERN GHATS-A WORLD NATURAL HERITAGE & BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT ON EARTH
Western Ghats is an array of mountain ranges lying in the west coast of India between river Tapti in north south and Though covering an area of 180,000 square kilometres, (just under 6% of the land area of India), the Western Ghats contain more than 30% of all plant, fish, herpeto-fauna, bird, and mammal species found in India. Western Ghats is one of the most sensitive ecological zones on earth and a biodiversity hot spot . It is the home for thousands of species of life form emerged, evolved and developed by the life crucibles where unique ecosystems served our biosphere. More over, this ancient mountain range supporting millions of people depends on its environment through ages. Compared to the land area it occupies, it holds 10 times the biodiversity of India. The endemism found in its flora and fauna explain the power of its ecosystems to create new life forms. New species are reporting almost in every month. The endemism found in mollusk, amphibians and reptiles shows its ancient existence. Certain life forms are here in its laps by millions of years.
The Western Ghats is not True Mountain. According to geologist they are the faulted edge of Deccan plateau (The triangle land trapped between Western Ghats and eastern ghats). They are believed to be formed during Gondwana break up (about 150mya). As per the theories of advocates of continental drift the Ghats were separated from Madagascar , some 100mya. So they are much older than the Himalayas. Due to its global importance, the Western Ghats is called 'griddle of earth'.
BIOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF WESTERN GHATS