Mukurthi National Park

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Overview:

Tamil Nadu Forest Department recently stepped up vigil around Mukurthi National Park in Nilgiris to curb poaching.

About Mukurthi National Park:

 

  • Location
    • It lies in the western corner of Nilgiris Plateau in the state of Tamil Nadu.
    • The park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is sandwiched between the Mudumalai National Park and the Silent Valley National Park.
    • The area was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1982 and upgraded to a National Park in 1990.
    • It was established with the prime motive of conserving its keystone species – the Nilgiri Tahr.
    • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was formerly known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park. 
    • It is also home to Mukurthi Peak (2,554m), the fourth highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills. 
  • Rivers: Pykara and Kundah rivers flow through the park along with several perennial streams that originate in the park and drain into the Bhavani Puzha.
  • Vegetation
    • The majority of the landscape in the reserve is covered with shrubs and mountainous grasslands. 
    • The area in the National Park which are at an elevation and experience high rainfall are covered with sholas and lush green tropical grasslands.
  • Flora
    • Along sholas, shrubs like Gaultheria fragrantissima, Helichrysum and Berberis tinctoria are found.
    • Other plants which can be seen here are Rhododendrons, Cinnamon, Mahonia, Satyrium, Raspberries etc.
  • Fauna:The park houses some of the endangered wild species like Nilgiri tahr, Indian elephants, Nilgiri Langur, Bengal tiger and bonnet macaque.

 


Q1) What are Keystone species?

A keystone species—which can be any organism, from animals and plants to bacteria and fungi—is the glue that holds a habitat together. It may not be the largest or most plentiful species in an ecological community, but if a keystone is removed, it sets off a chain of events that turns the structure and biodiversity of its habitat into something very different.

Source: T.N. Forest Department steps up vigil around Mukurthi National Park in Nilgiris to curb poaching