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Geographical Distribution Patterns of Amphibians in the Western Ghats, India

R. J. Ranjit Daniels
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 19, No. 5 (Sep., 1992), pp. 521-529
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845771
Page Count: 9
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Geographical Distribution Patterns of Amphibians in the Western Ghats, India
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Abstract

The Western Ghats of India are very rich in amphibian species with 117 species of frogs, toads and caecilians. Eighty-nine species are endemic to this biogeographical region. Analysis of ranges and patterns of geographical distribution of amphibians on the Western Ghats suggest that the southern half of the Western Ghats and the low-medium elevation hills are more diverse in species than the northern half and higher hills. This is attributed to the more widespread raifall and the less variable climatic conditions in the south. About half the species are apparently localized. Of those species with wider ranges, a majority show patchy distribution. Species preferring the moist evergreen forests as habitats tend to have patchy distributions. This appears to be a result of habitat destruction and fragmentation. The overall patterns of species richness and local endemism are rather different from those of the angiosperms and birds. In birds and angiosperms, a significant proportion of endemics are found on the higher hills. On the contrary, endemic amphibian species are found in the lower altitudinal range of 0-1000 m, with a majority between 800 and 1000 m.

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