Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Launched Project Nilgiri Tahr
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin launched ‘The Nilgiri Tahr’ project for conserving Tamil Nadu’s state animal by unveiling a plaque at a ceremony held at the secretariat in Chennai.
Pointing out multiple references to Nilgiri Tahr in the Sangam Tamil Literature, the government said, “As a testimony to its ecological and cultural significance in Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri Tahr has been declared as a state animal.”
‘The Nilgiri Tahr’ Project
A government order was issued about the project in December last year. The project's objectives were developing a better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population, distribution, and ecology; re-introducing Nilgiri Tahr to their historic habitats; and addressing proximate threats to Nilgiri Tahr.
It was also decided that October 7 will be celebrated as the Nilgiri Tahr Day in honour of Dr E R C Davidar, whose birthday falls on this day. Davidar pioneered one of the first studies on Nilgiri Tahr in 1975.
The project will focus on activities at an outlay of Rs 25 crore. The activities include:
Bi-annual synchronized surveys across the divisions.
Tranquilization, collaring, and monitoring of Tahrs.
Re-introduction and monitoring of Nilgiri Tahr.
Shola grassland restoration in Upper Bhavani in the Nilgiris.
Implementation of eco-tourism programmes, among others.
With the appointment of a full-time project director, the forest department has set up an office in Coimbatore for the project. The government has also appointed a senior scientist assisted by four senior research fellows to undertake various project activities.
Mukurthi National Park, located within the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) in the Nilgiris, is one of the four regions identified for study and protection under the ‘Nilgiri Tahr’ project.
About Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri Tahr, formerly known as Hemitragus hylocrius, is a rare mountain ungulate that lives in the southern part of the Western Ghats.
This species is found in a roughly 400 km stretch in the Western Ghats, which spans across Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The Nilgiri Tahr prefers habitats with grasslands that have steep, rocky cliff shelters. This animal's local distribution is due to its preference for this type of habitat.
The Eravikulam National Park is home to the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr, with the highest density in the world.
The Nilgiri tahr was formerly called Hemitragus hylocrius. Its generic name was changed to Nilgiri Tragus after the phylogenetic research by Ropiquet and Hassanin in 2005.
Status: IUCN Status is an endangered species and protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
Answer: A better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population, distribution, and ecology
Answer: The Nilgiri Tahr, formerly known as Hemitragus hylocrius, is a rare mountain ungulate that lives in the southern part of the Western Ghats.
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