Nilgiri tahr population surges after restoring habitat
Gudalur: A study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature India cited that the number of Nilgiri tahrs is surging in Nilgiri ranges. The study found that the tahr population which was once affected by hunting and habitat loss has now increased by threefold. This endemic species of the Western Ghats is the only mountain ungulate in southern India.
Official report over the tahr population is yet to be published. The studies assert that tahrs can be found in herds by the restoration of its habitat. In the earlier surveys conducted under Nilgiri tahr protection programme of the World Wide Fund for Nature India, herds of Nilgiri tahr were spotted at Kinnakorai region between 2010 and 2013. It has been hinted that the tahr population has increased here from 10 to 15. According to the WWF report of 2015, only 3,122 Nilgiri tahrs were found in the entire nation.
However, the ban on tahr hunting and the significant reduction in the human interference in the regions have led to an increase in the tahr population of Nilgiri ranges. The tahrs were once largely spotted in Ebbanad, Glenmorgan, Kodanad, Devarshola and Muthumalai regions. These regions with steep boulders and grasslands are ideal spots for tahrs to thrive.
Eravikulam National Park in Anamalai hills is the abode of the maximum numbers of tahrs. Nilgiri tahr is enlisted as endangered species in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.