The Western Ghats stretch much of the length of India’s vast western coast. Their ancient rolling hills create valleys that have diversified many hundreds of species of plants and animals, some of which are found nowhere else on earth. Tigers, elephants, birds, and other iconic animals all call the Ghats home.
And we can now add a new and strange species of tree crab: the Kani maranjandu. Scientists in India described the new species in the Journal of Crustacean Biology. They indicate that this new tree crab species is “substantially different” from other tree crabs. Particularly unique are its “elongated walking legs, which no other genus has.”
Dr. Biju Kumar, one of the scientists involved in the discovery, also notes the need to increase conservation in the Western Ghats:
“As water holding hollows in large trees are essential for the survival of this unique species, the discovery also stress the need for conservation of large trees in the degraded forest ecosystems of the Western Ghats. It also highlights how little we know about the actual biodiversity that resides in these forests and the efforts that must still be made to find and study the many undoubted new species that still live there.”
We couldn’t agree more.
SavingSpecies is proud of its new conservation program in the Western Ghats. Working with our partners, SavingSpecies is helping to Connect Protect and Restore the forests of the Western Ghats for endangered species–including some unknown to science.
The new tree crab species is a delightful reminder of the wonders of biodiversity and that the world must never stop discovering–and saving–biodiversity hotspots.