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  • Context (IE): The Tamil Nadu State Forest Department, in collaboration with WWF-India, successfully radio-collared a fully-grown saddleback (grown-up male) Nilgiri Tahr in Mukurthi National Park.
  • This operation marked the first time a mountain ungulate was collared without tranquilizing it.

Nilgiri Tahr

A poster with animals and text Description automatically generated

  • Nilgiri Tahr, locally known as Varaiaadu, is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is the only mountain ungulate in southern India among the 12 species found in India.
  • Conservation Status: IUCN Status: Endangered | WPA, 1972: Schedule-I
  • Distribution: It is endemic to the southern part of the Western Ghats, which falls in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
    • Eravikulam National Park has the highest density and largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr.
  • Habitat: Tropical montane grasslands, sholas forests and rocky areas at high elevations.
  • Adaptation: It is adapted to a cold and wet tropical environment. The species is diurnal.
  • Population: It is estimated that there are 3,122 Nilgiri Tahrs in the wild.
  • Threats: Habitat loss and poaching are the two major threats to the Nilgiri Tahr.
  • Significance: It has high-stress tolerance levels.
Ungulate: A herbivorous hoofed mammal; e.g., cow, sheep, horse, camels etc.
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