Marine fauna of Malvan, central west coast of India

A.H. Parulekar

Abstract



Marine fauna of the rocky, sandy and muddy shores of Malvan (Lat. 16 degrees 05'N; Long. 73 degrees 03'E) comprises of 208 species belonging to 172 genera, 97 families, 16 classes and 9 phyla. Forty major animal types including corals and pearl oysters, were identified. Rock pool environment was most interesting, as it not only had the maximum number of species but also a high order of faunal diversity. Eight zones indicating the vertical distribution of fauna in relation to tidal range were demarcated. Mid-littoral zone in the rock pools and mud plat mangrove ecosystem and lower littoral zone on the rocky and sandy shores, harbour maximum number of species. Three critical levels, limiting the vertical distribution of intertidal fauna were identified. The findings are discussed in relation to environmental conditions. The need for the conservation of marine fauna in these areas is also highlighted

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