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Sahyadri Plateaus of Maharashtra UPSC NOTE

 


Sahyadri Plateaus of Maharashtra

  • It is a mountain range or the Western Ghats of Maharashtra.

  • It is a northern part of the Western Ghats of India.

  • Sahyadri bears some renowned peaks and its area is one of the world’s ten Hottest Biodiversity Hotspots. 

  • Very high pinnacles, deep valleys, huge plateau, long trunks, treacherous pass crossings, steep canyons, narrow gorges, dense tropical rain forests, and huge lakes make this mountain region interesting to explore.

  • Sahyadri mountains are volcanic in nature, with an estimated age of 100 million years, and are made up of mostly basaltic rock. 

  • Geologic evidence indicates that they were formed during the break-up of the supercontinent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago.

  • Older than the Himalayas mountains, the mountain chain of the Sahyadri represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes.

  • This Western Ghats of Maharashtra became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India.

Recent threat to its biodiversity

  • The rapid shift from traditional local grain cultivation to monoculture plantations of mango and cashew in the Sahyadri plateaus of Maharashtra is impacting elusive amphibians, insects, and reptiles that live under a crop of loose rocks.

  • Scientists carried out a study on how animals ranging from ants to snakes are responding to land-use changes in rocky habitats.

  • The animals the scientists focused on included the

    • white-striped viper gecko (Hemidactylus albofasciatus) reported only from small parts of the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra, 

    • the Seshachari’s caecilian (Gegeneophis seshachari), a unique legless amphibian that mostly lives under soil, 

    • the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus), ants, spiders, and scorpions.

  • The loose rocks shelter these animals – some endemic and threatened – from scorching heat during summer and heavy monsoon rains. 

  • They have evolved to survive on the rocky plateaus, but their adaptability to changing conditions may not be enough for the pace of shift in the land-use pattern.

  • The rapidly changing agricultural trends in the rock outcrops include abandoning traditional local grain cultivation, and establishing monoculture plantations of mango and cashew.

  • The rapid expansion of mango orchards has resulted in the conversion of more than 25,000 hectares of lateritic plateaus.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Sahyadri Plateaus of Maharashtra UPSC NOTE
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