Why in News?
Recently, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has intensified its efforts to curb poaching in the Mukurthi National Park (MNP) and its surrounding areas in the Nilgiris district in an effort to safeguard the park’s wildlife.
About Mukurthi National Park
Mukurthi National Park is located in the western corner of the Nilgiris Plateau in Tamil Nadu. It encompasses an area of 7,846 hectares. Initially it was an IBA(Important Bird Area), but was later declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1980, and further a National Park in 1990. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, formerly known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park, was established with the primary aim of conserving its keystone species, the Nilgiri Tahr. The park is also renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, including the majestic Mukurthi Peak.
Fauna Diversity and Conservation
Mukurthi National Park is home to a remarkable variety of wildlife species, many of which are endangered or vulnerable. The park’s flagship species, the Nilgiri Tahr, finds its stronghold here, benefiting from the conservation efforts. The Indian elephant, an iconic and charismatic species, also roams these protected lands. Other notable fauna includes the Nilgiri Langur, Bengal tiger, and bonnet macaque, each playing a crucial role in maintaining the park’s ecological balance.
Stepping up Vigilance against Poaching
Recognizing the imminent threat posed by poaching, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has recently intensified its vigilance around Mukurthi National Park to keep an eye on Poaching activities, driven by the illegal wildlife trade. The Forest Department has also deployed 15 extra APWs(Anti-poaching watchers) across various parts of the Nilgiris division. These protection watchers will conduct regular patrols in the identified regions and stay at anti-poaching watcher camps to closely monitor any illegal entries into the forests.
By enhancing their surveillance and patrolling efforts, forest officials aim to curb poaching and protect the wildlife that calls the park home.
Key takeaways for competitive examination
- Mukurthi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on: 1 July 2012
- Nilgiri Tahr is the state animal of: Tamil Nadu
- Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu: M. K. Stalin