Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of
the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance
with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high
montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.
Moderating the tropical climate of the region, the site presents one of
the best examples of the monsoon system on the planet. It also has an
exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism and is
recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological
diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best
representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere
and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird,
amphibian, reptile and fish species.