Amboli is the latest addition to the list of the bio-diversity heritage site in Maharashtra.

The 2.11 hector area of Amboli is now called as 'Shistura Hiranyakeshi Biological Heritage Site'. The Maharashtra government recently declared an area in Amboli as a bio-diversity heritage site since a very rare freshwater fish species was discovered.

It is the 5th such eco spot in Maharashtra, much to the delight of wildlife researchers. Earlier, the Glory of Allapalli in Gadchiroli district, Landor Khori Park in Jalgaon, Ganesh Khind in Pune, myristica swamp vegetation in Sindhudurg district were considered as biodiversity heritage sites by the state government.

By identifying and discovering rare freshwater fish species at Amboli in the Western Ghats in Sindhudurg district, they have now declared it a biodiversity heritage site.

Schistura is a genus of fish in the stone loach family Nemacheilidae native to the streams and rivers of southern and eastern Asia. Some of these species are troglobitic (species which are strict of underground habitat) It is a small, colourful fish that lives in the water and streams in an abundance of oxygen. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's son, Tejas Thackeray, who is also a wildlife researcher with his team, made the discovery. It is named - "Schistura Hiranyakeshi" near Amboli in Sawantwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district.

The government has announced that the species might face extinction and is, therefore, necessary to protect the species from fishing activities.

Tejas Thackeray and other authors also published the new foundation for freshwater fish species in the International Journal of Ichthyology in the October 2020 edition. Amboli is a hill station in south Maharashtra, India. It is the last hill station before the coastal highlands of Goa. Amboli lies in the Sahayadri Hills of Western India, and it abounds in unusual flora and fauna.

Written By: Archita Ghamande