Nilgiri Tahr in Eravikulam National Park

The Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus Hylocrius) is an endangered mountain goat species. Their numbers have dwindled over the years due to poaching and a lack of natural habitats for them. Kerala is proud to be home to this beautiful animal species in the 400 km stretch of the Western Ghats between the state and Tamil Nadu. Eravikulam National Park in Munnar is a prime example of a separate safe haven being created to preserve these gentle beings. Visitors can view them at specific times during the year as well. This park boasts of the highest density and the largest surviving population of the Nilgiri Tahr.

They graze most actively during the early morning and the late afternoon. The male of the species is larger and darker than the female and is famous for their silvery saddle-like patch on the back. Mating takes place during the Monsoon and calving during the first 2 months of the year. Their life expectancy is up to 3.5 years but have the potential to be as high as 9 years. Eravikulam hosts about 300 of the species and it is from here that the fight for their survival is being spearheaded.

Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Cetartiodactyla
Family - Bovidae
Scientific Name - Nilgiritragus hylocrius
Species Authority - Ogilby, 1838
Common Name/s - Nilgiri Tahr (English), Varayadu (Malayalam), Varaiaadu (Tamil)
Synonym: Hemitragus hylocrius (Ogilby, 1838)




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