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The Western Ghats (Sahyadri mountains) are a mountain range in the west of peninsular India. They run north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separate the plateau from a narrow coastal plain along the Arabian Sea. The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti River, and runs approximately 1600 km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. About sixty percent of the Western Ghats are located in the state of Karnataka. These hills cover 60,000 km² and form the catchment area for a complex of river systems that drain almost 40% of India. The average elevation is around 1,200 meters. The area is one of the world's eight "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.

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