NILGIRI TAHR (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th April 2024        
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Context: The Tamil Nadu government recently announced plans to conduct a synchronized survey of the state animal, the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), aiming to remove it from the endangered status.

Nilgiri Tahr

  • About: It stands as the sole mountain ungulate species in southern India, contrasting with the twelve other species found throughout the country.
  • State Animal: Tamil Nadu
  • Habitat: Open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m of the South Western Ghats. 

o Currently, the Nilgiri tahr distribution is along a narrow stretch of 400 km in the Western Ghats between Nilgiris in the north and Kanyakumari hills in the south of the region.

  • Threatened Population: Facing mounting pressures from habitat degradation and human activities like hunting, the remaining populations of Nilgiri tahr endure significant stress, jeopardizing their survival.
  • Highest Population: The Eravikulam National Park in Anamalai hills, Kerala
  • Lowest Population: Palani hills, Srivilliputtur, and the Meghamalai and Agasthiyar ranges
  • Protection Status

o IUCN Status: Endangered

o Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972: Schedule I 

  • Conservation Estimates: As reported by WWF India in 2015, place the wild population of Nilgiri tahr at approximately 3,122 individuals, underscoring the urgency of conservation efforts.

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