Nilgiri Tahr, Valparai, Tamil Nadu

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The Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) is an endemic mountain ungulate species found in the shola habitats of the Southern Western Ghats. Hunting and habitat loss have restricted them to a few fragmented pockets. Though they occur in the Palani hills, Srivilliputtur, and the Meghamalai and Agasthiyar ranges, only two well-protected, large populations are well known, one from the Nilgiris and the other from the Anamalais including the higher ranges of Kerala.  

Nilgiri tahrs are rare and can be … Read More

The Monarch of the Anamalais: Monitoring Nilgiri Tahr Populations to Inform Conservation

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In India, the words, Mountain ungulates- Wild sheep and goat of the subfamily Caprinae-, often invokes the images of flamboyant species like  the Ibex (Capra sibirica), standing atop a crag in the snowy Himalayas. Aptly titled “Mountain Monarchs” by the legendary conservationist Dr. George Schaller, given their elaborate horns (particularly on males), mountain ungulates of High Asia are mesmerizing species.  However, beyond the Himalayan heights, there is also the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), a mountain monarch … Read More

Tahr Alert in Tamil Nadu

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The Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) is an endangered ungulate found on remote mountain slopes in the southern Western Ghats. Found in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, their current range has been greatly reduced to a mere 400 kilometers. These animals are found among the rocky cliffs of montane grasslands, and it is estimated that around 3000 individuals are distributed evenly between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Eravikulam National Park and the grassy slopes of the Anamalai hills are the only … Read More

Tahr on the Road!

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Further to the ‘Tahr alert in Tamil Nadu’ Featured Photo, CI reader, Pravin Shanmughanandam, has sent us another image taken recently on the Pollachi – Valparai highway in Tamilnadu. He says that all along the 40-km stretch that cuts through prime forests, tourists get down at various places, without much monitoring.  According to him, from the 5th to the 11th hairpin bends, where Nilgiri Tahr and Bonnet Macaques thrive, tourists approach them at close quarters and cause disturbance. This sometimes … Read More

A Narrow Escape

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Two Nilgiri Tahrs were having a fight on the slope just above this road. Suddenly one slid and fell down. You can see the dust kicked up by its slide and fall. A jeep was travelling on the road and would have hit the animals, if not for the driver who braked suddenly and managed to stop in time. Thankfully, this was possible because the jeep was being driven at a reasonable speed. Sticking to speed limits in and around … Read More