Published on: September 28, 2023
Why in news? Tamil Nadu, Kerala may join hands to count endangered Nilgiri tahr
- Tamil Nadu is working on a standardised protocol to count the endangered population of southern India’s only mountain ungulate.
- The Tamil Nadu Forest Department will also propose to its Kerala counterpart to conduct a synchronised census, as the animal is only found in selected habitats in the two States.
How survey is conducted ?
- For the first time, drones may be incorporated in the census, as the Nilgiri tahr prefers montane grasslands, with steep and rocky terrains at an altitude between 300 and 2,600 metres above sea level.
- Camera traps could also be used in difficult terrains.
About Nilgiri tahr
- It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu
- IUCN Status : Endangered
- Protected under Wildlife Protection Act 1972
- Distribution: Found only in India(southern portion of the Western and Eastern Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India)
- Habitat: Inhabits the open montane grassland habitat of the South Western Ghats montane rain forests Eco region.
- Conservation : Eravikulam National Park(Largest) and Nilgiri Hills, with smaller populations in the Anamalai Hills, Periyar National Park, Palani Hills, and other pockets in the Western Ghats south of Eravikulam.
- Inhabit meadows with steep cliffs at elevations between 300-2600 meters above sea level
- Primary Predator: Tigers, leopards and wild dogs
- Nilgiri Tahr is the sole Caprinae species found in the tropical mountains of southern India, and historically, it was known to inhabit a large portion of the Western Ghats.