Tuesday, June 1, 2010

THE NILGIRI TAHR | Hemitragus hylocrius

Among the two tahr species occurring in india, the Nilgiri tahr is endemic to Western Ghats and is seen in the hill ranges at an elevation from 600 m to 2,000 m. This highly endangered animal is found in isolated hillocks all over the Western Ghats. The largest population of tahr is found in Eravikulam National park where it can be easily seen. Best indirect signs are the pellets.

Scientific name : Hemitragus hylocrius

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Genus: Nilgiritragus
Ropiquet & Hassanin, 2005
Species: N. hylocrius
Binomial name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius

Local names : Varayadu, Kattadu

Habitat : High elevation areas with grassland shoal forests.

Distribution : Found in Eravikulam National Park and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and in many isolated hillocks all over Kerala.

Indirect evidences : Pellets and hoof marks.

Faecal matters : Mean pellet length is 11.19 mm, mean diameter 7.49 mm and mean weight is 29.9 gm. Similar to that of deer but slightly spherical. Colour varying from grayish to green. Texture of the pellets is smooth compared to deer species.

Size : Length of the pellets is one to one and half times more than the width.

Where to look for the animal : Cliffs with grass.

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