In news– Recently, the state government of Tamil Nadu has announced Project Nilgiri Tahr, the first-of-its-kind project that aims to protect the state animal and raise awareness about it.
About Nilgiri tahr-
- Also known as Nilgiri Ibex, the Nilgiri tahr (nilgiritragus hylocrius) inhabits montane grasslands with rocky cliffs at elevations.
- It is a sure-footed ungulate that inhabits the open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m of the South Western Ghats.
- It is the only mountain ungulate in southern India amongst the 12 species present in India.
- The Adult males of NilgiriTahr species develop a light gray area or “saddle” on their backs and are hence called “Saddlebacks”.
- Its population is restricted to the fragmented patches of grasslands in the Mukurthi National Park, which was previously known as NilgiriTahr National Park.
- It can be seen in Mukurthi, Glenmorgan of the Nilgiris, Anamalai, Grass Hills, Coimbatore’s Siruvani hills, Dindigul’s Palani hills, Megamalai of Theni, Agasthyamalai ranges and Eravikulam in Kerala.
- Threats include habitat loss, poaching, vulnerability to local extinction and climate change.
- It is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and classified as an ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN.