Tamil Nadu launches India’s first Nilgiri Tahr project
- Recently Tamil Nadu government has started the ‘Nilgiri Tahr Project’ with a cost of Rs 25.14 crore. This is India’s first project for the conservation of Nilgiri Tahr.
- Be aware that the Nilgiri Tahr is the state animal of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The government had decided in the Tamil Nadu budget for 2022-2023 to implement ‘Project Nilgiri Tahr’ to expand its habitat and spread awareness among the public.
- The objective of the Nilgiri Tahr Project is to restore the original habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr. particularly the ‘shola grasslands’ which are conducive to it, have to be reclaimed
- The project will have nine components, including a bi-annual synchronous survey across the division, diagnosis and treatment for affected animals, and a shola grassland restoration pilot scheme in Upper Bhavani.
- According to the World Wildlife Fund, 12 species of mountain ungulates are found in India and the Nilgiri tahr is the only mountain ungulate in southern India. Its population is estimated at 3,122.
- There are many references to the Nilgiri Tahr in Tamil Sangam literature dating back two thousand years.
- Silappatikaram and Sevaga Sintamani, two of the five great epics of the Sangam period, contain descriptions of the Nilgiri Tahr and its abode.
- In addition, later Sangam period literature such as the Patinekkakku Nilgiri Tahr mentions it.
- The Nilgiri Tahr primarily inhabits the Western Ghats which is internationally recognized as an endemic region. Its incredible bio-diversity is important to the whole world.
- This species endemic to the Western Ghats is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India.
Source – The Hindu