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Nature Nuggets

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Being Endangered

Do you know how many species are out there? Honestly, we also don’t really know! However, it is estimated to be in millions—with new species discovered regularly.

Did you know that the IUCN Red List assesses the health of life on our planet by how species are doing over time?! If the population of particular species has grown due to conservation efforts, then that species will be ‘down listed’ to a less critical status. For example, the giant panda was down listed from ‘endangered’ to the lesser status of ‘vulnerable’ in 2016, thanks to the dedicated conservation efforts for them. A species is ‘up listed,’ when its population drops to a critical range.

It’s National Endangered Species Day today! Dive into the latest edition of Nature Nuggets and learn more about the endangered species of our nation.

Endangered Species Day happens every year on
the third Friday of May. This special event is an
opportunity for people around the globe to
celebrate, learn about and advocate for
threatened and endangered species.

Do you know what’s the difference between an
endangered (EN),a critically endangered (CR) and a
vulnerable species (VU)?

Well, all threatened species are listed as CR, EN and VU.

  • Critically Endangered (CR): A species facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Endangered (EN): A species considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU): A species considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Common Name: Nilgiri Tahr
Scientific Name: Nilgiritragus hylocrius

The Nilgiri Tahr, a rare and highly endangered species of the wild mountain goat, is also known as “the pride of Munnar”.

The adult males of Nilgiri Tahr develop a light grey area or the saddle on their backs, and hence are sometimes also called as saddlebacks.

This species is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern parts of Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is also the sate animal of Tamil Nadu. But now they are having troubling finding a home in the state. The species became endangered due to continuous poaching and lack of natural habitats.

It’s popularly referred to as the Alpine ibex and feeds on a variety of herbs, shrubs and grass. This species is usually found in herds, sometimes numbering over 100. They are amazing when it comes to jumping around sheer cliffs where any other creature would unavoidably plunge to its death.

Watch these cute little ibex babies descending mountains trying to escape fox!

Time to check your Nature Quotient!

This species of spider was recently spotted in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests in Tamil Nadu. It is endemic to India and has been categorized as Critically Endangered species by the IUCN.

  1. Mysore ornamental tarantula
  2. Wolf spider
  3. Peacock parachute spider
  4. Tailed cellar spider

Answer to be revealed in our next edition!

Previous edition Answer: During migration, birds fly along specific aerial routes known as Flyways.

Congratulations to everyone who guessed it right!

This Endangered Species Day, let’s learn a little more about one of the critically endangered species of India, the Kashmiri Red Stag. Also known as Hangul, this species of red stag is a sub-species of Elk and endemic to the valleys of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Virtually travel with Chunmun to Kashmir’s Dachigam National Park and spot this rare deer!

Click here to read this amusing comic on One Planet Academy. Read and share it with your friends and schoolmates.

One and only digital conference on nature conservation for students across India, the Model Conference of Parties 2 is here. Support the young delegates!

Time: 3:00 PM IST

Date: June 12th, 2021. 

For more details, visit One Planet Academy.

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