Abstract
The hill ranges of the semi arid lower Eastern Ghats in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India are part of its larger landscape connectivity with the Western Ghats, a Biodiversity Hotspot. The Eastern Ghats is an important bio-geographic region much valued for its floral diversity, endemism and complex geology. Conservation of this connectivity is critical for the re-colonization of the remnant isolated populations of many species of global conservation significance. Situated between two National Parks within the district, these lesser-known dry-deciduous forests are also part of an elephant corridor. The protection of this connectivity between these isolated habitats is extremely important to overcome the barriers for the distribution of various other species, to ensure their genetic interchange and facilitate seasonal movement. For the local village communities, traditionally, these forests have been a major source for subsistence. Some of these forest patches in the past were conserved as ‘Sacred Groves’ by these communities and are island gene pools of many threatened species. Involving the communities in protection of habitat corridors and stepping stones by improving contiguity and habitat quality could be an important part of an overall regional landscape conservation framework.