‘Project Nilgiri Tahr’ launched in Tamil Nadu

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Source: The post is based on the article “Project Nilgiri Tahr launched in Tamil Nadupublished in “The Hindu” on 14th October 2023

What is the News?

Tamil Nadu has launched ‘Project Nilgiri Tahr’.

What is Project Nilgiri Tahr?

Launched by: Tamil Nadu

Objectives: 1) To develop better understanding of Nilgiri Tahr population, distribution and ecology 2) To re-introduce Nilgiri Tahr to their historic habitats 3)To address the threats to Nilgiri Tahr and 4) To increase awareness among public about the Nilgiri Tahr.

Activities under the project: The project will involve doing surveys every six months, keeping track of Nilgiri Tahr, helping sick ones, training support to staff and restoration of Shola grassland where Nilgiri Tahr survives.

What is Nilgiri Tahr?

Nilgiri Tahr is an ungulate endemic to the Western Ghats.

It is the only mountain ungulate in southern India amongst the 12 species present in India. 

It is also the state animal of Tamil Nadu.

They are known for their gravity defying skills in climbing steep cliffs.Thats why they are called “Mountain Monarch”.

IUCN Status: Endangered

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

Significance: There are multiple references to Nilgiri Tahr in the Sangam Tamil literature. Two epics — Silappathikaram and Sivakasindamani — mention descriptions of the Nilgiri Tahr and its habitat.

The play, Courtallar Kuravanji written by Trikoodarasappa Kavirayar in 1600-1700 A.D. describes Nilgiri Tahr in a song “Kurathi malai valam kooral”.

The late Mesolithic (10,000-4,000 BC) paintings also highlight the significance of the Tahr in folklore, culture and life.

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