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  • 06 November, 2023

  • 2 Min Read

Nilgiri Tahr

Tamil Nadu has allotted Rs 25 crores to Project Nilgiri Tahr which was launched in 2022 to protect and conserve the animal.

  • Scientific name - Nilgiritragus hylocrius
  • It is the only mountain ungulate (large mammals with hooves) in southern India amongst the 12 species present in India.
  • Population estimates - 3,122 individuals in the wild (as per a report released by WWF India in 2015)
  • Habitat – It is a sure-footed (not likely to slip) ungulate that inhabits the open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m of the South Western Ghats.
  • Distribution – It is endemic to Western Ghats but currently large populations are found only in Nilgiris and Anamalais.
  • Palani hills, Srivilliputtur, and the Meghamalai and Agasthiyar ranges holds smaller population.

The Eravikulam National Park in Kerala is home to the largest population of the Nilgiri tahr, with more than 700 individuals.

  • Threat – Habitat loss and occasional hunting for its meat and skin.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN status – Endangered
    • Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972 - Schedule I

Nilgiri Tahr is Tamil Nadu’s State Animal and the State celebrates October 7 as Nilgiri Tahr Day to honour hunter-turned-conservationist ERC Davidar.

Nilgiri Tahr finds mention in one of earliest Tamil epic Silapathikaram as ‘varai aadu’.


  • 09 September, 2019

  • Min Read

Nilgiri Tahr

GS-III: Nilgiri Tahr


In more good news for the State animal, the Nilgiri tahr, its sightings in the Mukurthi National Park have risen from 568 in 2018 to 612 this year.

Why this good news?

There was a decrease in tahr numbers in 2017, when a population of only 438 was recorded, down from 480 in 2016.

This was the second consecutive year that an increase in the population of the animal had been recorded in the park, meaning the population of the Nilgiri tahr, also known as the Nilgiri ibex, has risen by 132 since 2016.

Nilgiri tahr

IUCN Conservation Status: Endangered

The Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) aka the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex.

It is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India.

It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.

The Nilgiri tahr inhabits the open montane grassland habitat of the South Western Ghats montane rain forests eco-region.

At elevations from 1,200 to 2,600 metres (3,900 to 8,500 ft), the forests open into grasslands interspersed with pockets of stunted forests, locally known as sholas.

Eravikulam National Park is home to the largest population of this Tahr.

Source: The Hindu

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