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Recently Updated
South Western Ghats montane rain forests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 14:48:18 The South Western Ghats Montane Rain Forests are the most species-rich ecoregion in the Deccan Peninsula. They also harbor the highest levels of endemics. Consider the numbers: 35 percent of the plants, 42 percent of the fishes, 48 percent of the reptiles, and 75 percent of the amphibians that live in these rain forests are endemic species. Ten mammals and thirteen birds are endemic or near endemic to the ecoregion. More than 80 percent of the flowering plants characteristic of this mountain range are in the species-rich forests of the south. Large, charismatic mammals such as the tiger (Panthera tigris), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), gaur (Bos gaurus), and raucous hornbill inhabit the forests. These species evoke images of wild jungles of the Indian subcontinent. Large expanses of high-elevation, undulating grasslands interspersed with patches of... More »
South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 14:40:42 The South Western Ghats Moist Deciduous Forests lie adjacent to the montane rain forest ecoregion in the southern extent of the Western Ghats Mountain Range. This ecoregion creates a landscape that extends from the lowlands to the highest peaks of one of the bioregion's richest and most diverse ecosystems. The ecoregion is wider in the drier, leeward side of the mountain range, where it drops down to the dry Deccan Plateau to encompass some prime habitat where some of the most important populations of tiger (Panthera tigris), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), and gaur (Bos gaurus) live. The ecoregion represents a transition area between the South Western Ghats Montane Rain Forests and the South Deccan Plateau Dry Deciduous Forests, and includes species from both. Therefore, species richness is high. But more importantly, the ecoregion provides continuity of ecological processes... More »
Red River freshwater swamp forests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 14:27:30 This ecoregion is nearly extinct. Representing the swamp forests of the Red River in northern Vietnam, the natural habitat has long been cleared for agriculture. Today it is nearly impossible to even ascertain the natural biodiversity that used to occur in this ecoregion. This ecoregion comprises the freshwater swamp forests along the lower Red River in northern Vietnam. Swamp forest occurs inland of the mangroves in freshwater conditions. Freshwater swamp forest occurs on permanently or seasonally flooded mineral soils, often in zones up to 5 kilometers (km) wide, along rivers or around freshwater lakes. The original vegetation in these freshwater swamp forests may have been Melaleuca-dominated. This ecoregion used to provide habitat for several endangered species of mammals and birds. Freshwater swamps support a wide variety of plant species, many limited to this... More »
Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 14:22:36 The Peninsular Malaysian lowland rainforests ecoregion, with 195 mammal species, has the second most mammal species in the Indo-Pacific, behind the Borneo lowland rainforests. Yet most of the wide-ranging or top carnivore species lead a tenuous existence within these biologically noteworthy forests. The tiger, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan tapir, gaur, and clouded leopard all fall into this category. As in many other tropical forests in this region, habitat loss and poaching are the two primary reasons for the decline in these and other species. This ecoregion is comprised of the lowland moist forests of Peninsular Malaysia and the extreme southern part of Thailand. There are no clear seasons in peninsular Malaysia, and rainfall is plentiful year-round. Two monsoons punctuate the region. From October to March a northeastern monsoon brings extra rain to the eastern... More »
Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests Last Updated on 2014-04-17 14:18:52 The Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests, though not as diverse in species as the surrounding lowland rainforests, are home to many of Malaysia's endangered species. Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, tigers, clouded leopards, and Malayan tapir are examples of threatened species that inhabit these rapidly shrinking forests. This ecoregion represents the disjunct peat swamp forests in Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand. Based on the Köppen climate zone system, this ecoregion falls in the tropical wet climate zone. The peat swamp forests of peninsular Malaysia have edaphic and vegetative characteristics similar to those in Sumatra and Borneo. The soil is infertile and primarily organic matter. Peat deposits found behind mangroves are recent in origin. They are formed when rivers drain into the inland edge of a mangrove and trap the sediments within their... More »