Tamil Nadu Launches Project to protect Nilgiri Tahr
In a first of its kind initiative in India, the Government of Tamil Nadu announced the 'Nilgiri Tahr Project' on 28 December.
The aim is to restore the original habitat of this state animal and stabilize its population.
With a budget of Rs 25.14 crore, this five-year initiative will constitute a dedicated team headed by a project director to deal with the conservation of the species.
The project will explore the possibility of captive breeding of the animal in forested areas where it has become locally extinct.
The state forest department will conduct a simultaneous survey in the Tahr range, which includes the Nilgiri hills and the Assambu highlands.
Under the project, radio-telemetry studies of some tahrs will be carried out to understand the pattern, habitat use and behaviour of this animal.
About Nilgiri Tahr
It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
This endemic species of the Western Ghats is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
The Nilgiri tahr faces several threats such as habitat loss due to large-scale deforestation, competition with domestic animals, hydroelectric projects and monoculture plantations.
October 7 will be celebrated as 'Nilgiri Tahr Day' in honour of ERC Davidar. He did the first study on Nilgiri Tahr in 1975.
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