Sept. 9, 2019

The population of Nilgiri tahr in the Mukurthi National Park have risen from 568 in 2018 to 612 this year. This was the second consecutive year that an increase in the population of the animal had been recorded in the park.


  • Scientific name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius; Hemitragus hylocrius.

  • Common name: Saddlebacks (as Adult males develop a light grey area or “saddle” on their backs).

  • Habitat and distribution:
    • They are found at high elevations on cliffs, grass-covered hills and open terrain (i.e. open montane grassland habitats at altitudes of 1,200 – 2,600 meters of the South Western Ghats.

    • Their present distribution is limited to approximately 5% of the Western Ghats in southern India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.

    • Eravikulam National Park is home to its largest population.

  • Population: Around 2,500 in Wild.

  • Conversation status:
    • Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and

    • Listed as Endangered on IUCN Red List.

  • Threat: Principal threats are habitat loss (mainly from domestic livestock and spread of invasive plants which leads to diminishing grazing land) and poaching.

Source : The Hindu