Tahr breeding season

Published: Sunday 28 February 1999

with the advent of the breeding season, the blue hills of Munnar in Kerala are once again alive with frolicking calves of nilgiri tahr.

The first birth of a tahr calf was registered on January 12 and, till the last week of January, eight more calves had given birth in the Eravikulam National Park, 15 kms from Munnar. The calves weigh about five kgs and start frolicking soon after the birth. According to the latest estimates, there are about 800 tahrs in the park. Another 200 live in Munnar, Silent Valley and Parambikkulam areas of Kerala.

In order to minimise disturbance to the animals, the forest department is strictly controlling the movement of the visitors. No vehicles are alowed inside the park. Even before the season started, the authorities were strict about visitors movement inside the park.

The practice of allowing film shooting in the area has also been stopped. About 50 per cent of the global tahr population lives in Eravikulam, which was declared a national park in 1978. The breeding season will last till the end of March.

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