A recent paper published by a conservationist said that the Asian elephant has lost most of its optimal habitat in the Nilgiri biosphere Reserve.



  • The study said that human settlements and crop cultivation have hindered the movement of the elephants, keeping them confined to the hilly areas, considered sub-optimal habitats.
  • IUCN status of Elephant — Endangered
  • Wildlife (Protection) act 1972 — Schedule 1


About the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’

  • It harbours a wide spectrum of ecosystem types such as tropical evergreen forests, Montane sholas and grasslands, semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and thorn forests.
  • The major part of the core areas spread over Kerala and Tamil Nadu States.
  • This range of ecosystem occurs from hilly terrain to the meadows extending from 300 to 2670 m constituting an excellent habitat for the flora, fauna and other microbial forms.
  • The varied habitats of the NBR house a sizeable number of species of animals and plants including a large number of endemics having special relevance to conservation.
  • Fauna — Animals like Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, blackbuck, tiger, gaur, Indian elephant and marten are found here.
  • Tribal Population — Tribal groups like the Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar, Malayan, etc., are native to the reserve.
  • Protected Areas within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve are — The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley.