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Lakshadweep Islands

The reefs of the Lakshadweep are poorly surveyed, but they are known to be among the highest diversity reefs in India and are an important biogeographic link between the subcontinent and East Africa.

Although inadequately studied, the waters around the Lakshadweep are relatively high in marine mammal diversity dominated by spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Recent observations also include killer whales and melon-headed whales, among others. Sea turtle densities (hawksbill and green) are also high in many Lakshadweep waters.

The reefs are recovering from a devastating coral mass mortality that killed between 70-95% of coral during the El Niño event of 1998.

Benthic recovery has been mixed, driven by a complex interplay of hydrodynamics and post-settlement mortality. Fish mortality is also in a state of flux, although a study of fish populations in the Lakshadweep indicates that the community has considerable resilience.


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