Status review of Rocky plateaus in the northern Western Ghats and Konkan region of Maharashtra, India with recommendations for conservation and management

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A. Watve


Rocky plateaus in the northern Western Ghats and Konkan region are specialized habitats belonging to the general habitat category of Rock Outcrops. Their distribution and classification is presented here, with details of microclimate and edaphic features. Microhabitats on the rocky plateaus have been described along with characteristic species assemblages and changes in them due to biotic pressure. Ecological assessment of representative sites show high species richness and diversity (H). A review of current knowledge about endemic flora and fauna on the rocky plateaus shows a large number of endemic species of flora and fauna, of which many are regionally assessed as threatened. Localized diversification within floral and faunal genera is common and indicates active speciation. Most localities except those within protected areas are affected by biotic pressures and there is no specific legal protection for their rich biodiversity. The paper suggests needs for future research on the habitat and recommends conservation and management actions based upon the ecology of the habitat.

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A. Watve