Eravikulam National Park (ENP), a natural habitat for the endangered Nilgiri tahr, reported two tahr births recently.

 

About Eravikulam National Park

  • Location — Idukki District, Kerala
  • Area — 97 sq. Km
  • It was declared as a National Park in 1978.
  • This is also the land of “Neelakurinji”, the flower that blooms once in twelve years.
  • The highest peak south of the Himalayas – The Anamudi (2695 meters) is situated in this park.
  • Topography — The major part of the park is covered with rolling grasslands, but several patches of shola forests are also found in the upper part of the valley.
  • Flora —
      • Important flora includes Actinodaphne bourdilloni, Microtropis ramiflora, Pittosporum tetraspermium, Eupatorium adenophorum, Strobilanthus Kunthianus (Neela Kurinji)
      • The shola grasslands are exceptionally rich in balsams and orchids including the long thought extinct variety Brachycorythis wightii.
  • Fauna —
      • 29 Species of mammals are found here of which 5 are endemic to the Western Ghats.
      • The Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Langur, Tiger, Leopard, Giant Squirrel and wild dog are common.
      • Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr lives here.
      • 140 species of birds of which 10 are unique to the Western Ghats.
      • The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world is seen in this Park.
      • More than 100 varieties of butterflies and 20 species of amphibians are also seen here.

 

About the Nilgiri Tahr

  • It is a sure-footed ungulate that is endemic to the southern part of Western Ghats.
  • Scientific name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
  • It is also the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • Conservation Status —
      • IUCN: “Endangered”
      • Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972 : Schedule 1