Storytelling

Science

Living Amongst Survivors

Nature in the Western Ghats

One of the Wonders of the World

Would you believe us if we said that a place existed in India as lush, beautiful, and teeming with wildlife as the Amazon? More than 100 million years old, it’s called the Western Ghats. Filled with mountains that run for almost 1,000 miles along India’s west coast, The Ghats contain one third of the country’s species. These wild creatures make their homes in its snowy peaks, tropical rainforests, grasslands, meadows, and wetlands.

Many have never been seen before. From ancient trees to dancing frogs to elephants, a vast number are evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE). Our YouTube miniseries and mobile games give everyone a chance to experience the Western Ghats and its incredible diversity. By shining our spotlight on it, we hope to conserve this truly wondrous EDGE Zone.

YouTube Miniseries

Partnering with Indian documentary maker Nature in Focus, we created a miniseries that tells stories of the Western Ghats. Each short, fast-paced episode introduces its EDGE inhabitants and their primeval landscapes, as all struggle to survive in a changing world.

Imagine humans living side by side with elephants and getting along. In our first episode of Nature in the Western Ghats we take you to Valparai, a small town in India’s Western Ghats, where the residents do just that. Here, it’s not unusual for people to see elephants emerge from forest fragments to tramp through tea plantations or across roads. Thankfully, an early warning system that alerts them to these remarkable creatures has reduced the chance of these encounters being fatal.

Western Ghats

Featured Species

With literally hundreds of incredible species, many native and found only in the Western Ghats, it’s a tough call deciding who gets our attention. Each species is amazing and memorable in its own right, and bound to have you wanting to discover more.

Indian Elephant

Wildlife in the Western Ghats comes in all sizes. On the heavier side are Indian elephants, many of whom live around Valparai. Once just rainforest, Valparai’s landscape is dotted with plantations, buildings, and roads. Can all its inhabitants live together peacefully? They’re working on it…

Myristica Swamp

Why should city dwellers care about a swamp? Whoever heard of ‘intelligent’ trees? Introducing Myristica, whose fragments date back to the Jurassic. Here, you’ll find trees with stilts and a wet world beloved by frogs. Oh, and they’re great for people, too!

Laughing Thrush

Survival is no laughing matter for this Shola grasslands native. As its habitat in the southern Western Ghats disappears, this beautiful bird with its striking plumage is seeking out new places to feed itself – and rather dubious sources of nourishment.

The Purple Frog

Known as a ‘living fossil’, this critter’s been around since the dinosaurs! With a snout like a frog’s and a squawk like a chicken’s, it’s certainly original. You’re unlikely to see one because the purple frog lives underground – emerging one day a year for the serious business of breeding.

Finding a way to Coexist

Living in close quarters with some of the world’s largest land mammals gets hairy at times. The inhabitants of Valparai in the Western Ghats know all about that! To help keep people and elephants safe, we’ve developed an app that alerts users when animals are nearby.

Local Partnerships

Nature in Focus

Working with ardent wildlife storytellers, we’ve created an eight-part mini-documentary series that brings to life the incredible variety of life that exists in the Western Ghats.

Nature Conservation Foundation

Human impact on wildlife and habitats, biological surveys, and ecological restoration are all part of NCF’s work in the Western Ghats. Learn how we’re supporting their efforts to increase awareness of EDGE species and create new partnerships to protect them.

National Centre for Biological Sciences

Filling gaps in conservation information is crucial when it comes to helping Endangered species. Our partnership with NCBS will ensure more knowledge of, and attention for, EDGE species – and kick-start the careers of six recently qualified conservationists!