Latest Biodiversity Discoveries in Western Ghats: Overview

Latest Biodiversity Discoveries in Western Ghats: Overview

Question: Western Ghats is one of the top biodiversity hotspots of India. Discuss, keeping latest discoveries in mind.

• Intricate ecosystem of the Western Ghats has recently experienced a host of new discoveries namely a fish species and three types of tadpoles

• The discoveries point to the rich fauna and the need for conservation measures in the region, say scientists

• Researchers from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment/ ATREE discovered the new fish species Pethiastriata along the Kundremukh National Park

• The discovery of the endemic species were from two streams of the Tunga namely Mudba and Turad

• Pethiastriata is a small fish, with a length of around 4 cm. The male is reddish in colour and the female is greyish.

• The species live in gently flowing water at shallow depths and are found in groups of around 4

• This fish differs from other species in seven characteristics

• This includes dark outer edges of scales giving them a certain striped pattern

• ATREE, Gubbi Labs and Manipal University have also discovered 3 species of tadpoles from a narrow stream called Shravati

• These belong to the species of Nyctibatrachus (meaning ‘night frog’) — N. kumbara (‘potter frog’), N. kempholeyensis (named after the Kempuhole stream) and N. jog (named after the waterfall)

• The importance of this discovery is manifold as tadpole habitats are slowly disappearing because streams are being diverted for irrigational purposes

• This region has great potential for discovery of more endemic species, say researchers

Facts and Stats

• Western Ghats is known locally as Sahyadri Hills and are formed by the Malabar Plains

• They run parallel to the western coast of India 30 to 50 km inland covering an area of 160,000,000 square km and stretching for 1600 km interrupted by the 30 km Palghat Gap

• This mountain chain is older than the Himalayan mountains

• It is on of the eight hottest hotspots of biological diversity

• It is home for at least 325 threatened flora, fauna,bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species
Post your comment