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- 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
- 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.
- IUCN Red List: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972: Schedule I