The shortwings on sky islands9 min read 09 Oct 2014, 08:29 PM IST
The blue bird and its habitat in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats face challenges posed by development
Bangalore/Akkamalai (Tamil Nadu): At first the term “sky island" sounds like a space station, a place right out of the realms of science fiction. But sky islands are on earth, on a sequence of mountains separated by valleys. The valleys here play the role of the water that surrounds an island. Like the volcanic islands of the Galapagos, where isolation by sea acted as a barrier for species migration and helped retain its unique characteristics, as explained by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species, sky islands across the world have been cradles of evolution. These elevated terrestrial islands on mountain tops are home to a unique set of species, living in a time warp and having the highest ecological and evolutionary significance in our natural world.