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Tamil Nadu- Nilgiri Tahr

Nilgiri Tahr

Common Name: Nilgiri Tahr

Local Name: Nilgiri Ibex

Scientific Name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius


The Nilgiri Tahr is a stocky, goat-like ungulate with a coarse fur coat that is dark brown or greyish. Adult males, known as “saddlebacks,” have a distinctive light-colored patch on their backs, which looks like a saddle. Males are larger than females and have short, curved horns, which are slightly backward-pointing. Females are generally smaller and lighter in color. An adult male can weigh between 80 to 100 kg, while females weigh between 50 to 60 kg.


The Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to the Western Ghats of India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Tamil Nadu, they are predominantly found in the Nilgiri Hills, including the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Eravikulam National Park. Their habitat typically includes grassy cliffs and rocky slopes at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 2,600 meters.


Habitat Loss: Deforestation, conversion of grasslands to plantations, and other forms of land-use change threaten the Tahr’s habitat.

Poaching: Illegal hunting for meat and trophies poses a significant risk, despite protective measures.

Inbreeding: Fragmented populations lead to inbreeding, which reduces genetic diversity and increases vulnerability to diseases.

Human Encroachment: Expansion of human settlements and agricultural activities into Tahr habitats leads to habitat fragmentation and degradation.

Climate Change: Alterations in climate patterns can affect the availability of forage and suitable habitat for the Nilgiri Tahr.

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