Wildlife Conservation Efforts

[pib] Study of flowering plant endemism of Northern Western Ghats

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Abutilon ranadei

Mains level : NA

Scientists at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have come up with plant data of the Northern Western Ghats which indicates that plateaus, in addition to the forests, should be prioritized for the conservation of the Northern Western Ghats.

Last year one  species from our newscard : Species in news: Hump-backed Mahseer made it into the CSP 2019.  The ‘Abutilon ranadei’ flower in the newscard creates such a vibe yet again.

A stand-alone species being mentioned in the news for the first time often find their way into the prelims. Make a special note here.

Why conserve Plateaus?

  • The Western Ghats of India is one of the global biodiversity hotspots owing to the endemism that is sheltered by a chain of mountains.
  • The northern part of this along with the Konkan region is considerably different from its southern and central counterparts on account of lesser precipitation and extended dry season.
  • It is the plateaus and the cliffs that harbour most of the endemic species.

What did the study find?

  • The study found that the Northern Western Ghats has 181 local endemic plant species, including four monospecific genera.
  • They have found that a majority of the endemic species are therophytes, which complete their life cycle in a short period during monsoon.
  • A notable geographical feature of the Northern Western Ghats is the presence of plateaus and cliffs that display maximum endemic species, unlike forests.
  • It is the region of rapid diversification of specific herbaceous endemic genera like Ceropegia, Glyphochloa, Dipcadi, and Eriocaulon.

One such specie is-

Abutilon ranadei

  • Abutilon ranadei is a shrub, measuring 2.5-3.5 m high and bears star-shaped hairs.
  • It is a Critically Endangered endemic species from the northern Western Ghats.

Bonus:

Consider the following pairs:

Wildlife Naturally found in
1. Blue-finned Mahseer Cauvery River
2. Irrawaddy Dolphin Chambal River
3. Rusty-spotted Cat Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

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