Historically the Western Ghats were well-covered in dense forests that provided wild foods and natural habitats for native tribal people. Its inaccessibility made it difficult for people from the plains to cultivate the land and build settlements. The area is ecologically sensitive to development and was declared an ecological hotspot in 1988 through the efforts of ecologist Norman Myers. Its a world heritage site.
The range is home to at least 84 amphibian species, 16 bird species, seven mammals, and 1,600 flowering plants which are not found elsewhere in the world.
Here's the link to the site