Nilgiris threatened by climate change


The Nilgiris district, part of the 5,520-sq. km Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biodiversity hotspot. The upper reaches of Nilgiri district in Tamil Nadu is house for Awvul grass (Eriochrysis rangacharii) found only in wetlands in this region, is sacred for the Todas, a pastoral tribe indigenous to this region. The grass is also a pasture for the Toda buffalo which is genetically isolated population found only in this region. It is the tradition of Toda tribes to collect the grass from the swamps and wetlands and use it for purposes like building thatch for their temples.
The region was mostly untouched till two centuries ago, but because of expansion of human settlements and tea plantations this region has witnessed large-scale changes and leading to destruction ever since.

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