Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Nilgiri Tahr Conservation Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nilgiri Tahr

Mains level: Not Much

nilgiri tahr

The Tamil Nadu government launched an initiative for the conservation of the Nilgiri Tahr, the State animal.

Nilgiri Tahr

IUCN Conservation Status: Endangered

Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972: Schedule I

  • 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.
  • It is estimated that there are 3,122 Nilgiri Tahrs in the wild. It has become locally extinct in around 14% of its traditional shola forest-grassland habitat.


Nilgiri Tahr Conservation Project

  • Under The Nilgiri Tahr project, TN government plans to develop a better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population through-
  1. Surveys and radio telemetry studies;
  2. Reintroduce the Tahrs to their historical habitat;
  3. Address proximate threats; and
  4. Increase public awareness of the species.
  • The project is to be implemented from 2022 to 2027.
  • Furthermore, October 7 will be celebrated as ‘Niligiri Tahr Day’ in honour of E.R.C. Davidar, who was responsible for pioneering one of the first studies of the species in 1975.

Historic significance of Nilgiri Tahr

  • There are multiple references to the Nilgiri Tahr in Tamil Sangam literature dating back to 2,000 years.
  • The late Mesolithic (10,000-4,000 BC) paintings highlight the significance of the Tahr in folklore, culture and life.
  • It was designated as the State animal in recognition of its ecological and cultural significance.


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