Conservation of the Middle Palni Ecosystem

Conservation of the Middle-Palni ecosystem inhabited by the Malabar Grey Hornbill and the Indian Grey Hornbill, the Indian Giant Squirrel and the Grizzled Giant Squirrel in Tamil Nadu, India.

The middle-elevations of the Palni Hills in Tamil Nadu have a mixed vegetation and
host some of the unique flora and fauna of the region. These include the giant
squirrels (Ratufa indica and Ratufa macroura), the Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros
birostris) and the Malabar Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), which were commonly
found in many parts of India. At present, due to a variety of reasons ranging from
deforestation, changing land use patterns, etc., much of their former habitats have
been destroyed or under threat. Their numbers have drastically shrunk. However,
some populations of these species have been preserved due to a combination of
factors in the Palni Hills in south India, an important one being that coffee-growing,
unlike tea, requires considerable shade for a good crop. This project is to ensure
protection to these species through a multipronged effort – involving the local
communities, wildlife experts and policy-makers – of in situ efforts as well as
appropriate advocacy and awareness generation among the concerned stake holders.

In particular, efforts will be made to draw the attention of the the media about what
is at stake in the Palni Hills; students, wild-life enthusiasts and the press will be


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