THE STATE ANIMAL OF TAMIL NADU
Nilgiri Tahr is a wild mountain goat with unique horns found in the tourism zone of Eravikulam National Park. They habitat in the open grasslands of the Western Ghats Anamalai Hills, Nilgiri Hills, Palani Hills, located in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Eravikulam National Park has the highest population of Nilgiri Tahr, of only around 2500 are estimated to be left. It has been included in the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation Of Nature) Red List of endangered species. The Nilgiri Tahr is the largest among all the thar family namely, The Arabian tahr and The Himalayan tahrs.
They are popularly known has Alphine ibex. They can easily climb sheer cliffs. They grow upto one metre in height and weigh over 80 to 100 kgs. An adult male Nilgiri Tahr are dark brown with blue coat and others are deep and dark brown. The female are lighter in colour and will be dusky brown and yellowish brown. Their horns curve towards their back. Males have longer more massive horns. The male’s horns grow as long as 44 centimeters and female grow upto 26 centimeters. Nilgiri thar horns are significant than Himalayan tahrs.
The horns of the thar reveal their age. The backward turning horns shows growth rings which keep increasing every year. They have a very short life expectancy of maximum three years has their habitat loss and poaching are the reasons for the threat of extinction. Nilgiri tahr is the only member of the tribe Caprini that lives in Tropics. By strong preventive measures the population of gone upto 3000, more preventive steps could help to safeguard the unique existence. A study reveals, that protecting the tahr also result in increasing the population of local tigers. Holding the honor of being the state animal of Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri tahr is a rare existence to be preserved and adorned.