August 29, 2020 by Nithya
State Animal of Kerala & Karnataka
Animal of Blue Hills!
September 10, 2020 by Santhinidevi
#GLO Fellowship Program
Week 3 of the fellowship program started with exploring about ANIMALS…!
Well! Everyone is aware of the ‘National Animal’ of INDIA, without any second thought it is ‘TIGER’.
Do you know we have state animal for every state in INDIA?
So… What is your state animal?
It’s time to FIND your state animal and SAVE them..!
When I heard the name ‘State Animal’, I wanted to know more about my state animal. So I started exploring about “The State Animal of TAMIL NADU”.
Let’s dive into this ANIMAL WORLD to know some facts about “The State Animal of Tamil Nadu”…! And what is our part in protecting them..!
“THE NILGIRI TAHR..!”
Yes… The State Animal of Tamil Nadu is the NILGIRI TAHR..!
Where can we find this animal?
The animal name itself conveys where it lives… NILGIRI TAHR is endemic to the NILGIRI HILLS [The Blue Hills] of Tamil Nadu.
They live in the mountain grasslands of,
- The Nilgiri Hills
- The Western Ghats
- The Nelliampathies
- The Anamallais
At the elevations of about 300 meter – 2600 meter above the sea level.
How does the animal look like?
NILGIRI TAHR is a stocky mountain goat with short & coarse fur in a Bristly mane, they are Sure-Footed.
Birth of Nilgiri Tahr?
Nilgiri Tahr baby is called as “KID”..! Kids are very playful in nature.
Nilgiri Tahr breeds during the South-West Monsoon in the month of June-August. After 6 months of gestation period, female Nilgiri Tahr gives birth to one baby during the month of Jan-March.
They give birth to only ONE baby at a time..!
Baby Nilgiri Tahr both Male & Female is in yellow – brown color.
How to differentiate between Male & Female Nilgiri Tahr?
Male Nilgiri Tahr are in dark brownish color and are larger compared to Female Nilgiri Tahr. They have swept back curved horns length up to 40 cm.
Weights approximately 80-100 kg and have approximate height of 100 cm tall. Special facial marking, a white stripe running down from the base of its horn separating dark brown muzzle from its dark cheek.
Female Nilgiri Tahr are in yellow to brown color and weights approximately 50 Kg, they are approximately 80 cm tall. They also have swept back curved horns length up to 30 cm and more slender.
Pic Credits: Source Google.com
What is their favorite food?
Nilgiri Tahr is an herbivore [gets energy from eating plants], they feed on several variety of Herbs, Grass & Shrubs on the Mountains.
Their favorite delicacy is “SALT”..! They go in search for Salt-licks.
What kind of animal is Nilgiri Tahr?
Surprisingly Nilgiri Tahr is a very FRIENDLY animal. They regard humans as their friend and freely mingle with them.
They are social animals live in herds.
What is the Life span of Nilgiri Tahr?
Potential life span of Nilgiri Tahr is at least 9 YEARS. But they are estimated to have average 3 to 3.5 YEARS of life expectancy in the wild.
Which place has the largest population of Nilgiri Tahr?
Eravaikulam National Park which is located in ‘Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala’ is a natural habitat with an area of 97 sqkm which has the largest population of Nilgiri Tahr.
There were 526 Nilgiri Tahr out of which 91 new born counted during the survey in the year of 2019 by the Forest department.
In the current year 2020, there is a growth in the population; 723 Nilgiri Tahr including 155 new born babies counted at Eravaikulam National Park.
In early 1950s, place named Rajamallay is declared as a Sanctuary to protect the Nilgiri Tahr.! It is now a part of Eravaikulam National Park Zone.
Pic Credits: Source Google.com
Is there any other name to Nilgiri Tahr?
Here are some unique names of Nilgiri Tahr,
They are widely called as ‘DEFT CLIMBERS’. Yes, they incredibly climb to any high places easily. There is no doubt they live in mountain grasslands.
Locally called as ‘WILD GOAT’ & ‘CLIFF GOAT’. Popularly known as ‘ALPHINE IBEX’..!
Scientific Name: “Nilgiritragus hylocrius”
Tamil Name: varaiaadu [வரையாடு]
The genus name is derived from Tamil word ‘Neelagiri’ meaning “Blue Hills”
What are the TAHR Species?
There are three Tahr Species,
- NILGIRI TAHR
- HIMALAYAN TAHR
- ARABIAN TAHR
We can say Nilgiri Tahr closest relative is the SHEEP..! Nilgiri Tahr is different from other Tahr Species.
Why Nilgiri Tahr included in ICUN’s Red List?
Nilgiri Tahr once where spread across the entire extent of Western Ghats. But their population size is estimated to fewer than 25,000 individuals. Their population continuously declined over years.
So… The ICUN included NILGIRI TAHR in its Red list and declared as ‘ENDANGERED SPECIES’.
Also Nilgiri Tahr is a protected species under Schedule – I of the INDIAN WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, 1972.
What are the threats to Nilgiri Tahr Population?
Nilgiri Tahr are hunted by Leopards, Dholes & Tigers etc.
Their population declined due to the uncontrolled hunting by humans, they are hunted down for their meat. Because their meat are highly priced.
You can say the main threat to their population is the Climatic Change. Climate changes leads to habitat loss of Nilgiri Tahr.
In early 20’s the population was only around 100, now the WWF-India has put Nilgiri Tahr current population at 3,122 in the Western Ghats.
Compared to previous years there is a growth in the population of Nilgiri Tahr as per the record of June 2020 by the Forest Department.
Reason for the growth is “Decline in human interference in forest area due to COVID Lockdown”..!
They are expecting to see a good growth in Nilgiri Tahr population this year since there will be no human interference till year end due to COVID.
That’s very SAD to here..! They are friendly with people but still our actions affect their lives..!
That’s not fair, right? We have to do something to protect our ecosystem & animals who plays a very important role in balancing the ecosystem.
What can we do to protect Nilgiri Tahr?
Without forest & animals only we humans can we balance our ecosystem? Can we live happily in our mother earth without them?
I questioned myself & thought about it multiple times, what I can do to protect the animals?
What is the reason for their habitat loss?
It is because of forest fire & climate change.
Why there is forest fire & climate change?
Climate changes are mainly due to Global Warming.
What is Global Warming?
It is a long-term heating of earth’s climate system due to greenhouse gas.
How this Greenhouse gas created?
Since the pre-industrial period (1850 – 1900) due to human activities Earth’s global average temperature have increased about 1 degree Celsius.
- Forest Degradation / Deforestation – Cutting trees for building infrastructure and many other purposes.
- Burning Fossil fuels – Burning gas, oil & coal to power our cars or to generate electricity it releases CO2 Carbon-di-Oxide in our atmosphere
How to reduce the Global warming?
Turn-off lights & other electronic devices when not in use.
Reduce the amount of electricity generated from Coal & Gas. Use electricity from renewable sources like wind & solar.
Conserve WaterUse water wisely and close the water tap tight
Go for BicycleDrive a fuel efficient vehicle. Use bicycle or go for a walk to nearby markets it will be a good exercise and reduce the pollution caused by gasoline.
Kitchen Gardening Create your own garden with few greens and vegetable to get fresh vegetables
Start Composting Compost daily kitchen waste, food scraps and give a nutrient-rich soil to the kitchen garden
Go Green Use cloth bags instead of plastic bags. Carry a cloth bag whenever you go for shopping.
Follow 5RsRefuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover.
Plant a Tree:
Prevent Deforestation & Grow more trees.
Many of us think that, it is not possible for me to go and create a big forest now. Is that even possible?
But I can plant a tree and maintain it. Encourage friends and neighbors to plant trees near their house.
No, there is not enough space to grow a big tree near my house. That’s perfectly alright..!
Let’s sow a seed in a small pot or reuse any unused bottle/container, water it and grow a small sapling, give to neighbors who have space to grow it.
We can create our own mini garden in our house with few small plants.
Everything starts with tiny steps..!
Plants absorb CO2 Carbon-di-Oxide and releases O2 Oxygen which regulates the atmosphere temperature.
Spread the Awareness
Create awareness among our neighbors, friends about the necessity & their role in protecting the animals & ecosystem.
“Healing the planet starts with us..! It can be from your Kitchen or friends or neighbors..! Every step counts..!”
“Every single step we take make a HUGE difference..!”
“LET’S TAKE A SMALL STEP TO PROTECT OUR ANIMALS & ECOSYSTEM…!”
Post your suggestions and views as a comment.
#CognizantOutreach #GoGreen #SaveNature #SaveAnimals #HappyGLOing #KnowYourStateAnimal #SpreadAwarness
Disclaimer: Some of the contents related to the facts & pictures about Nilgiri Tahr in this post is sourced from google and it is purely for the purpose to create awareness.
By Santhinidevi S