Western Ghats Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Purple Frog to be crowned Kerala’s state amphibian

Purple frog could be soon designated as Kerala’s state amphibian. The proposal for this is being mooted by Kerela’s leading Herpetologists (a specialist in study of reptiles and amphibians). The odd-looking species is endemic to Western Ghats. The title would help in protecting species fragile habitat.

About Purple Frog

  • Scientific Name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (N. sahyadrensis).
  • It is also known as Maveli frog or Pignose Frog.
  • Features: Its body appears sturdy and swollen. It is relatively round in shape as compared to other flattened frogs. Compared to other frogs it has a small head and an unusual pointed snout (muzzle). In most cases adults are dark purplish-grey in color.
  • Habitat: For almost its entire life it lives in underground tunnels and comes out to surface for only a single day in a year to breed.
  • Distribution: They were thought to be limited to south of the Palghat Gap (a pass which is located between Nilgiri Hills to north and Anaimalai Hills to south) in Western Ghats, but are now known to be quite widely distributed in Western Ghats.
  • As per Herpetologists purple frog should rightly be called ‘living fossil’ as it is believed that they have co-existed with dinosaurs almost 70 million years ago.
  • IUCN Red List: Their conservation status is endangered as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Decolourisation of River Periyar

The River Periyar in Kerala is again witnessing the decolourisation. The decolourisation of River Periyar which provides drinking water to Kochi city and adjoining areas has become the cause of worry for the people and government of Kerala. The water turned pitch black in one stream, it was milky near the Pathalam regulator-cum-bridge.

Eutrophication

The pollution control Board (PCB) has attributed the change in colour to the poor quality of water as a result of eutrophication. PCB has stated that huge quantities of organic load in the form of sewage from nearby townships are regularly reaching the river system. This is contributing to the eutrophication resulting in the change of colour.

River Periyar

River Periyar flows in the state of Kerala. It originates in the Western Ghats and flows north for a short distance to Periyar Lake. Periyar Lake. is an artificial reservoir created by Mullaperiyar Dam across the river. From the Periyar Lake, tunnel carries water through mountains to the Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu, where it is used for irrigation.

Further downstream Idukki dam is constructed across the river. The river descending out of the mountains into the coastal plain and empties into the Arabian Sea.