Madurai

Towards protection of endangered species in Madurai

A Lion-Tailed Macaque. Photo: Special Arrangement

A Lion-Tailed Macaque. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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The Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is home to LTMs, a species endemic to the Western Ghats, and Nilgiri Tahr, the State animal of Tamil Nadu.

Making the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve will not only give protection to tigers but also to other highly endangered species such as Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-Tailed Macaques (LTMs), say naturalists.

There is a proposal to create a tiger reserve in the State that will include the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Srivilliputtur Grizzled Giant Squirrel sanctuaries.

The Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is home to LTMs, a species endemic to the Western Ghats, and Nilgiri Tahr, the State animal of Tamil Nadu.

According to naturalists, the LTMs are rainforest species and live under continuous canopy.

The presence of the Macaque species indicates that a forest is healthy, they point out.

“There are less than 3,000 LTMs in the world at present. Not less than 300 LTMs are expected to be found in the Meghamalai Wildlife Division alone,” said C. P. Rajkumar of Vaigai Association for Nature and Mountain Ranges (VANAM), an environmental organisation based in Theni.

An individual animal survey has to be done to determine the population of the Macaque species and Nilgiri Tahr in the division, he added.

A study on primates in Highwavys mountains of the Meghamalai division in 2011 indicated that the population of LTMs in the mountains needed proper attention because their habitat remained outside the protected area.

As many as eight groups of LTMs were spotted on the mountains. All eight groups were sighted in private estates which were a barrier for their movement, according to the study. The individual count of the primate species was not less than 266, it had stated.

Highwavys mountains are home to five species of primates which are the Nilgiri Langur, Hanuman Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Lion-Tailed Macaque and Slender Lories.

Proper study needed

According to naturalists, a proper study of the five primate species should be conducted in the Highwavys mountains, Periyar Tiger Reserve and Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:36:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/towards-protection-of-endangered-species-in-madurai/article6334217.ece

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