Rare Endangered and Threatened (RET) climbers of Southern Western Ghats India
Sarvalingam A; Rajendran A
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural
Background and Aims\r\nThe Mountains of the Western Ghats are the second most important shelter in the world for threatened species. The current paper is an attempt to study the conservation assessment of rare endangered and threatened species (RET) of the southern Western Ghats. A species is endangered when it is threatened with extinction. Since time began countless species have gone extinct from natural processes. The present study was conducted to identify the rare endangered and threatened climbing plants in Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu India.\r\n\r\nMethods\r\nThe plant collection and identification of the RET listed climbing species of the Southern Western Ghats was done during 2011–2014. The collection and identified RET plant species from the study were selected from different hills (forest) of Tamil Nadu. During the work the selected study sites were visited plant specimens were collected and systematically pressed stored for identification.\r\n\r\nKey results\r\nA total number of 285 climber species comprising 125 genera of 41 families were identified from Southern Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu. Out of 285 33 species are listed as RET species like Ceropegia mannarana Umam. & Daniel and Gloriosa superba L. fond to be Endangered species and Celastrus paniculata Willd. Aganosma cymosa G.Don. Smilax wightii A. DC. Corallocarpus gracilipes Cong. are rare species. The most specious families include Asclepiadaceae (7 species) Convolvulaceae (5-species) followed by Fabaceae (4-species) Cucurbitaceae and Liliaceae each 3-species and all the other remaining families having two or one species each.\r\n\r\nConclusion\r\nSome of the threatened factors such as over-exploitation of natural resources and other anthropogenic activities adversely affect the existing ecosystem and it may lead to the rarity of many species in future. There is an urgent need for developing pragmatic conservation strategies for endemic plants in the southern Western Ghats which may lead to their effective protection.