Eastern Ghats

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Eastern Ghats
Early morning in Godavari 02.jpg
Godavari River at Papi Hills of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh
Highest point
Peak1699, Jindagadha
Elevation1,699 m (5,574 ft)
Prominence1,290 m (4,230 ft)
Geography
CountryIndia
StatesOdisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana
RegionsEastern India and South India
BiomeTropical forests and Wetlands
Geology
Type of rockIgneous, Iron and Limestone

The Eastern Ghats are a discontinuous range of mountains along India's eastern coast. The Eastern Ghats pass through Odisha, Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu in the south passing some parts of Karnataka as well as Telangana. They are eroded and cut through by four major rivers of peninsular India, viz. Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri.

Geology[edit]

The Eastern Ghats are made up of charnockites, granite gneiss, khondalites, metamorphic gneisses and quartzite rock formations. The structure of the Eastern Ghats includes thrusts and strike-slip faults[1] all along its range. Limestone, bauxite and iron ore are found in the Eastern Ghats hill ranges.

The Eparchaean Unconformity of the Tirumala Hills is a major discontinuity of stratigraphic significance that represents an extensive period of erosion and non-deposition. It is seen at the steep natural slopes, road scars and ravines in the Tirumala ghat roads in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.[2][3]

Hill ranges[edit]

Topography- Eastern Ghats (Southern part)

As with the Western Ghats, these mountain ranges also have local names along the discontinuous hill ranges.

The Ponnaiyar and Palar rivers flow from headwaters on the Kolar Plateau eastward through gaps in the Ghats to empty into the Bay of Bengal; the Javadhu Hills lie between the two rivers. There are waterfalls in remote areas, such as the Kiliyur Falls.[4]

Madhurawada Dome in the Eastern Ghats mobile belt is formed by a tectonic arrangement with the khondalite suite and quartz Archean rocks along the Eastern Ghats north of Visakhapatnam.[5]

The Maliya Range is located in the northern portion of the Eastern Ghats. The Maliya Range generally ranges between elevations of 900–1200 m, although some of its summits soar higher. The tallest peak in this range is Mahendragiri (1,501 m).[6]

The Madugula Konda Range is located in the northern portion of the Eastern Ghats. The Madugula Konda range is higher than the Maliyas and generally ranges between elevations of 1100–1400 m. Prominent summits include the highest peak of the Eastern Ghats - Arma Konda (1680 m), Gali Konda (1643 m) and Sinkram Gutta (1620 m).[6]

The Similipal massif is considered the farthest northeast extension of the Eastern Ghats.[7]

Rivers[edit]

Mahanadi river flowing through Eastern Ghats

The Eastern Ghats are the source area for many small and medium rivers[8] of the east coastal plains of South India.

Rivers flowing through the Eastern Ghats include:

Rivers originating on the Eastern Ghats include:

Fauna[edit]

The endemic fauna of the Eastern Ghats are the Jerdon's courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) and grey slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus). The rare geckos found here are the Indian golden gecko (Calodactylodes aureus), granite rock gecko (Hemidactylus graniticolus), Yercaud slender gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus aurantiacus),[9] other lizards such as Sharma's skink (Eutropis nagarjuni), and snakes such as Gower's shieldtail snake (Rhinophis goweri), Shortt's shieldtail snake (Uropeltis shorttii), Nagarjun Sagar racer (Coluber bholanathi).

Mammals[edit]

Elephant in the Eastern ghats

Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), Madras treeshrew (Anathana ellioti), common grey mongoose (Urva edwardsii), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica), Indian bison (Bos gaurus), wild boar (Sus scrofa), common muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), dhole (Cuon alpinus), golden jackal (Canis aureus), Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), Indian hare (Lepus nigricollis), Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus), tufted grey langur (Semnopithecus priam), Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata), rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis), smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), jungle cat (Felis chaus), cheetal (Axis axis), Nilgai, Indian boar, Indian Wolf, Indian mole-rat (Bandicota bengalensis).[10] There are than 400 tigers in the eastern ghats.

Birds[edit]

A survey conducted by ATREE in the northern Eastern Ghats hill region identified more than 205 species of birds including the relatively rarer ones like Brook’s flycatcher (Cyornis poliogenys) and Jerdon’s baza. Threatened bird species like the Malabar pied hornbills were also spotted in a couple of habitats.[11] Other bird species found in the Eastern Ghats include the Great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), red-wattled lapwing (Vanellus indicus), spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), blue peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii), hoopoe (Upupa epops), spotted owlet (Athene brama), greater coucal (Centropus sinensis), pied crested cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus), Oriental white ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), Indian pitta (Pitta brachyura), Indian paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi), red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), jungle babbler (Turdoides striata), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala), black-rumped flameback (Dinopium benghalense), brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus), Indian spotted eagle (Aquila hastata), Indian vulture[12] (Gyps indicus),[13] and Malabar whistling thrush (Myophonus horsfieldii)

Amphibians[edit]

Up to 30 species of amphibians including the Gunther's toad (Bufo hololius), pond frogs (Euphlyctis), cricket frog (Fejervarya), bull frogs (Hoplobatrachus), burrowing frogs (Sphaerotheca), balloon frogs (Uperodon), small-mouthed frogs (Microhyla), and tree frog (Polypedates) occur here. Endemic ones include the golden-backed frogs (Hylarana spp.), the bush frog Raorchestes terebrans and the recently described caecilian Gegeneophis orientalis and an Ichthyophis species that is known from old records.[14][15]

Reptiles[edit]

Nearly 100 species of reptiles occur in the Eastern Ghats. Many endangered species are also present, including the mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga), Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata), Indian tent turtle (Pangshura tentoria), Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans), Leith's softshell turtle (Nilssonia leithii), many of which are found in the northern rivers and riverine valley tracts.

Among lizards are the Roux's forest calotes Monilesaurus rouxii, those of the genera (Psammophilus), (Sitana), Indian chameleon (Chamaeleo zeylanicus), Reticulated gecko (Hemidactylus reticulatus), the rock geckoes Hemidactylus giganteus, Hemidactylus graniticolus, the golden gecko (Calodactylodes aureus), the slender gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus aurantiacus), the rare ground geckoes (Cyrtodactylus nebulosus), (Cyrtodactylus collegalensis), the recently rediscovered (Geckoella jeyporensis), Leschenault's snake-eye (Ophisops leschenaultii), Blinking snake-eye (Ophisops minor), Ashwamedh's skink (Eutropis ashwamedhii), Beddome's skink Eutropis beddomei, Nagarjun's skink (Eutropis nagarjuni) and Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis). Noteworthy lizards include the endemic, fossorial genera of leg-less skinks such as Sepsophis punctatus, Barkudia melanosticta and Barkudia insularis that are known only from the northern ranges and along the adjoining Eastern coastal plains in northern Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

Among snakes are the beaked worm snake (Grypotyphlops acutus), the endemic shield-tailed snakes like Uropeltis ellioti, Uropeltis shorttii, the recently described Rhinophis goweri, the endangered Indian rock python (Python molurus), Forsten's cat snake (Boiga forsteni), yellow-green cat snake (Boiga flaviviridis), Srilankan flying snake (Chrysopelea taprobanica), Nagarjun Sagar racer (Coluber bholanathi), green keelback (Rhabdophis plumbicolor), Duméril's black-headed snake (Sibynophis subpunctatus), Indian reed snake (Liopeltis calamaria). Apart from the Big Four Indian venomous snakes, endemic ones like the Beddome's coral snake (Calliophis beddomei) and the Indian green Bamboo pit viper (Trimeresurus gramineus) and the rare King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) and the Banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) are also known from parts of this region.[14][15]

Protected areas[edit]

Sanctuaries and national parks of the Eastern Ghats:

According to a study published in 2018, the forest cover of the Eastern Ghats has shrunk drastically since 1920 and several plant species endemic to this region face the threat of extinction.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sriramadas, A. (November 1967). "Geology of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh" (PDF). Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Section B. 66 (5): 200–205. doi:10.1007/BF03052185. S2CID 126925893.
  2. ^ "Eparchaean Unconformity, Tirumala Ghat section". Geological Survey of India. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
  3. ^ Geological Monuments of India. Eparchaean Unconformity (Tirupati Tirupati Road). Geological Survey of India. 2001. pp. 5–8.
  4. ^ "Jungle Look". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 11 February 2006. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007.
  5. ^ Jagadeeswara Rao, P.; Harikrishna, P.; Srivastav, S.K.; Satyanarayana, P.V.V.; Vasu Deva Rao, B. (October 2009). "Selection of groundwater potential zones in and around Madhura wada Dome, Visakhapatnam District - A GIS approach" (PDF). J. Ind. Geophys. Union. 13 (4): 191–200. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b M.S. Kohli (August 2010). Mountains of India: Tourism, Adventure and Pilgrimage. Indus Publishing, 2014. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-81-7387-135-1. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  7. ^ "National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan profiles the Eastern Ghats of southern India" originally from http://sdnp.delhi.nic.in/nbsap/dactionp/ecoregion/eghatdraft.html[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ T. Pullaiah; D. Muralidhara Rao (2002). Flora of Eastern Ghats : hill range of South East India. Regency Publications. p. 3. ISBN 978-81-87498-49-0.
  9. ^ Basundhara Chettri; S. Bhupathy (26 July 2010). "Three little known reptile species from the Araku Valley, Eastern Ghats with notes on their distribution" (PDF). Journal of Threatened Taxa. 2 (8): 1109–1103. doi:10.11609/JoTT.o2329.1109-13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  10. ^ No.1,2006.pdf The Eastern Ghats[dead link]. Archive of No.1,2006.pdf original site[dead link]
  11. ^ Ganguly, Nivedita (17 July 2015). "For joy of birdwatching". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  12. ^ Endangered vultures sighted in Raichur. The Hindu (29 August 2012). Retrieved on 28 July 2013.
  13. ^ Critically endangered vulture found in Adilabad district. The Hindu (5 June 2013). Retrieved on 28 July 2013.
  14. ^ a b Srinivasulu, C., & Das, I. (2008). The herpetofauna of Nallamala Hills, Eastern Ghats, India: an annotated checklist, with remarks on nomenclature, taxonomy, habitat use, adaptive types and biogeography. Asiatic Herpetological Research, 11, 110-131.
  15. ^ a b Ganesh, S. R., & Arumugam, M. (2015). Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 23(1), 7-24.
  16. ^ Pacha, Aswathi (6 October 2018). "Eastern Ghats face loss of forest cover, endemic plants". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 October 2018.

Coordinates: 15.418°0′N 78.789°0′E / 15.418°N 78.789°E / 15.418; 78.789