Sahyadri ENews: LXXVI
Sahyadri ENews: I - LXXVI
Ecological Status of Protected Areas (PA) in Northern Western Ghats – Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat States
Western Ghats (WG), covering only 5% of India’s total landscape, are endowed with sensitive endemic flora and fauna. The region is designated as one of the 36 Biodiversity hotspots in the world. The Western Ghats is spread across six states, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. WG also contains a higher population density, which makes the management of forests and conservation more crucial. The current issue of Sahyadri E-News (Issue 76) focuses on the ecological status of protected areas in Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat states of the Western Ghats. Protected Areas are “a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated, and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”. PAs are created under a regulatory framework to arrest WG forests from further degradation. There are 16 National Parks, 50 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 3 Conserve Reserves, and 2 Biosphere Reserves in WG. Maharashtra has higher number of fauna, and Goa showed higher number of flora. Fauna species were the least in Goa and Gujarat. The spatial information provided an insight into the diversity of flora and fauna in PA’s of WG with taxonomical details, IUCN status, endemism, uses (of flora), etc. This information helps in the decision-making and prudent management of ecologically vital regions.