The Western Ghats form a 1,600 km long escarpment that runs parallel to the southwestern coast of Peninsular India. This relief barrier, which orographically exacerbates the summer monsoon rains, is responsible for steep bioclimatic gradients that have long been recognized as one of the major ecological determinants for the forest vegetation of the region. We report here girded vegetation data at 30' lat/long (ca. 1 km) resolution that cover an area of about 70,000 km2 of the southern Western Ghats, between 74 to 78° E and 8 to 16° N. These data have been extracted from: the 1:250,000 scale forest maps of South India published by the French Institute of Pondicherry (FIP), which have been digitized and simplified; the 2004 MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) database, for the IGBP (International Biosphere Geosphere Programme) global vegetation Land Cover Type and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of March 2004.
forest map, IGBP global vegetation, India, land cover type, MODIS, NDVI, Western Ghats