India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity. India is home to 7 to 8% of the world’s flora and fauna. Out of the 34 biodiversity hotspot areas identified in the world, India has 4 biodiversity hotspot areas. These four biodiversity areas are Himalayas, Indo-Burma, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Sunda Land. India is a treasure trove of traditional knowledge linked to biological resources. So far, 91200 species of animals and 45500 species of plants have been identified from the bio-geographical areas of India.
The Western Ghats are part of the global Western Ghats – Sri Lanka Biodiversity. This important biogeographic area extends parallel to the Arabian Sea and extends 1500 km from Gujarat through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Moving forward. Due to the complex geographical factors, different weather and monsoon conditions prevail here. The Western Ghats are about 30 km off the west coast of India. – 50 km Extends to the inland land area. It is 1600 km. Covers an area of 40 1,40,000 (km) on a long strip. The Western Ghats influences the water cycle, natural resource resources and development processes locally and globally. About 58 rivers flow out of the Western Ghats and form the water cycle water towers of the Indian Peninsula. Any change in the climate of the Western Ghats is naturally expected to affect the river ecosystems there.
The Western Ghats contains 220 species of amphibian animals that live both on land and in water.
The biodiversity of animals and the fact that those animals are confined to this area and nowhere else in the world (endemism) is in a very high proportion here. The Western Ghats contains 139 species of mammals, 508 species of birds, 16 species of Casilians, 290 species of freshwater fish, 268 species of mollusks and 330 species of butterflies. All of these Casilians are endemic, meaning they are confined to the same area of the earth. These mollusk species include the snail cow, the cuttlefish, and the oysterfish, which are cochlear fish. They are also soft-bodied animals with coaches. There are 225 species of reptiles roaming in the same area, which is quite endemic to this part of the earth. The highest population of Asian elephants is found in this hotspot area.
The river Godavari originates from the slopes of the Western Ghats
The main source of rivers in the peninsula is the Western Ghats. From there they explode. Rivers like Maha, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri flow eastwards and merge into the Bay of Bengal. Godavari is the longest peninsular river with a length of 1500 km. It originates from the slopes of the Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats are among the five most visited destinations in Asia
The Western Ghats are also among the top 5 most visited destinations in Asia in 2018. The list includes the top 10 most visited places in the world. The Western Ghats is ranked fourth in the list of top 10 such destinations in Asia, released on June 10, 2018.
A team of travel experts ranked South Busan first, Uzbekistan second and Vietnam’s Hee Chin Minh third. The Western Ghats then ranked fourth in this regard. Umbiza of Thailand was ranked fifth, Nagasaki of Japan sixth, Lumbini of Nepal seventh, Arugam Gulf of Sri Lanka eighth, Sichuan Province of China ninth and Indonesia’s Commodo National Park fifth in the list of top 10 destinations to visit in Asia.
To maintain the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. What suggestions does the Kasturirangam report make?
That. A high-level working group led by Kasturirangam prepared a report on the conservation of the biodiversity of the Western Ghats and the overall development of the local people there. Important suggestions were made in this report. 90% of the land area of the Western Ghats should be declared as reserve on the basis of deforestation, demarcation of forests, population density of villages and richness of biodiversity in rural areas.
- 41% of the Western Ghats area is natural land area with fishery population and rich biodiversity and 59% is cultural land area with human settlements and farmland.
- According to the report of the Kasturirangam Committee, the 6000 (km) area of the Western Ghats is a residential sensitive area, spread over 6 states. This means that all in all, 37.5% of the Western Ghats area is habitat sensitive.
- Business and employment are important and they should move forward but this Western Ghats should also be protected from sustainable economic activities.
- A housing service fund should be started to help the villages around the forests.
- Geo-spatial segregation should be undertaken for better land policy reforms.
- Determine the boundaries of habitat sensitive areas using high visual clarity maps.
- Separate the so-called ‘cultural land’ and ‘natural land’.