Published on: December 29, 2022
Why in news? Tamil Nadu launches special project to conserve Nilgiri Tahr
- An exclusive project aimed at its protection and conservation, including estimating the animal’s current numbers and restoring its fragmented habitats.
- The scheme to be implemented will be India’s first project to conserve Nilgiri Tahr
- Nilgiri Tahr has become locally extinct in around 14 per cent of its traditional shola-grassland habitat
- In captivity, the species can live up to 20 years and the Tahr can give birth to one lamb each year, after a six-month gestation period
About the Project
- They will have nine components including bi-annual synchronised surveys across the divisions, tranquilisation, collaring and monitoring of Tahr individuals, re-introduction and monitoring of Nilgiri Tahr, Shola Grassland restoration pilot in Upper Bhavani, and eco-tourism programmes.
- Restoration of shola grasslands which is the major habitat for the animal will be taken up as a priority activity.
- In order to enhance awareness about the need for the conservation of the Nilgiri Tahr, October 7th would be celebrated as “Nilgiri Tahr Day”.
Depiction in History:
- Described as rich in Tamil Sangam literature like Chilapathikaram and Civaka Chintamani and depicted in the Late Mesolithic (10,000-4,000 BC) paintings.
About Nilgiri tahr
- It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu
- IUCN Status : Endangered
- 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 ecoregion.
- 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.