Project Nilgiri Tahr

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister recently launched ‘The Nilgiri Tahr’ project for the
    conservation of Tamil Nadu’s state animal.
  • Nilgiri Tahr is an endangered mountain ungulate endemic to the southern part of the
    Western Ghats.
  • Scientific Name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
  • Locally, the animal is called ‘Varayaadu’.
  • They are known for their gravity-defying skills in climbing steep cliffs, earning them the
    nickname Mountain Monarch.
  • It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • Their present distribution is limited to approximately 5% of the Western Ghats in
    southern India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu).
  • Eravikulam National Park in Kerala has the highest density and largest surviving
    population of Nilgiri tahr.
  • They inhabit the open montane grassland habitats at elevations from 1200 to 2600 m of
    the South Western Ghats.
  • It has a stocky body with short, coarse fur and a bristly mane.
  • Males are larger than females and of a darker color when mature.
  • Both sexes have curved horns, which are larger in the males, reaching up to 40 cm in
    males and 30 cm in females.
  • Adult males develop a light grey area or ’saddle’ on their backs and are hence called
  • It has a short grey-brown or dark coat.
    Conservation Status:
  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972: Schedule I