Western Ghats, India
A biodiversity hotspot
The forests in the southwestern Ghats are even richer, hosting the country’s largest population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) as well as Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus), sloth bears (Ursus ursinus), nilgiri tahrs (Hemitragus hylocrius) and much more.
Mounting threatsThe Western Ghats were once covered in dense forests. Today, a large part of the range has been logged or converted to agricultural land for tea, coffee, rubber and oil palm, or cleared for livestock grazing, reservoirs and roads.
The growth of populations around protected areas and other forests has also led to habitat destruction, increased fragmentation, wildlife poaching and human-wildlife conflict.
Where are the Western Ghats?
The Western Ghats are highlighted in blue below
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Wildlife conservation in the Ghats
This region is also home to 10% of the world's tigers, making it an important area for the long-term conservation of this endangered species.
As part of its efforts to conserve elephants, tigers and other wildlife, WWF is working in this unique part of India to:
- maintain the ecological integrity of forest corridors
- reduce conflict between wildlife and people
- bolster anti-poaching efforts in protected areas
The Western Ghats' Nilgiris Mountains still offer safe refuge to diverse wild creatures in pockets which we must somehow protect from all harm. This, after all, is where India’s largest Asian elephant populations can still be seen.