How About Some Bling For Your Computer?

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Super Talent Technology, headquartered in San Jose, California has come up with a limited edition 18-carat solid gold USB drive. It boasts of a 30MB/sec data transfer speed and a storage capacity of 8GB.

There are some additional goodies like a certificate of authenticity, an 18-carat gold keychain, FIPS certified AES-256 encryption software and a Black velvet jewelry box. There is also a cool concept where one can get their personalized text or logo etched onto the drive with the help of a laser, at no charge!

Now that’s what I call a customized, limited edition Bling for $599.



Tendulkar Reveals That Ganuly’s Decision to Quit Came As A Surprise To Him

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Tendulkar Reveals That Ganuly’s Decision to Quit Came As A Surprise To Him

Sachin Tendulkar has said the senior players in the Indian team must be respected for the “major contributions” they have made over the years. Tendulkar, who recently became the leading Test run-scorer, said the decision on retiring from international cricket should be made by the players, whom he felt will know when the time is right.
© Getty Images

The seniors – Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble – were under intense scrutiny by the media after poor performances in the 2-1 defeat in the Test series in Sri Lanka. Ganguly, who was not picked for the Irani Trophy, announced the Tests against Australia will be his last international appearance for India.

“Lack of respect towards senior players doesn’t happen anywhere,” Tendulkar told the news channel NDTV. “We all know when to move away from the sport. But people have their opinions. Sometimes these opinions are not correct. But one is made to believe that this is the right opinion. The individuals will take their decisions when they feel it’s the right time.”

Tendulkar said he was “surprised by Sourav’s [Ganguly’s] decision to quit”. “I am sure it must have taken him a long time to reach there. And it’s a big decision. But if he feels that it is the way to go, then we all should respect his decision.”

Does this not throw any light as to what were the circumstances under which Ganguly had to take such a tough decision, a man who has served Indian cricket for the past 10 years.

Tendulkar and Laxman played crucial innings to save the first Test against Australia in Bangalore. Tendulkar then became the highest run-scorer in Test cricket during his 88 in the second Test in Mohali, while Ganguly went past 7000 Test runs during his 16th Test century in the same match, which India won by 320 runs.

By Arunava Das

Nilgiri Tahr

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As a part of my dissertation project in The Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve for the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environmental Association (NWEA) and WWF-Ooty, which I have chosen as the Nilgiri Tahr, a part of the write up I am presenting on “80 Feet Road”. Hope you all will like it. This will also be followed up by a brief description of my study area.

(Note: RockSta can you please help me out in attaching the photos in the middle of the text. The post will be edited with photographs taken by my friend at the association, Quadershan Aiyyar.)

By Arunava Das

Disclaimer: ™All information presented here is copyrighted with © Nilgiri Wildlife and Environmental Association (NWEA), © WWF-Ooty, © Arunava Das, Fellow of WWF-India and NWEA. Copying is strictly prohibited. Perpetrators should be dealt as per law.

Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius)

Taxonomy Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Suborder: Ruminantia
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Caprinae
Tribe: Caprini

Hemitragus hylocrius [Ogilby, 1838]. Citation: Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1837:81 [1838].

Type locality: India, Nilgiri Hills.

The taxonomic record (above) is taken from Wilson and Reeder (1993). Originally, this tahr was assigned to the (now invalid) genus Kemas, and was included within Capra by some 19th Century authors (see Lydekker, 1913). The Nilgiri tahr is generally accepted as a full species, although some authors have placed it as a subspecies of the Himalayan tahr, Hemitragus jemlahicus (see Nowak, 1991; Wilson and Reeder, 1993). However, genetic evidence presents a strong case that the Nilgiri tahr is a species unto itself (see Bernischke and Kumamoto, 1980). The Nilgiri tahr has no subspecies (i.e., it is monotypic). The only invalid synonym for H. hylocrius is H. warryato (after the Tamil name for this species). General Characteristics
The Nilgiri tahr is the largest of the three tahr species, being just slightly larger than the Himalayan tahr, H. jemlahicus (Prater, 1971). Males are significantly heavier than females, with a body weights up to twice as much – 100 kg for males versus 50 kg for females.


Unlike the Himalayan tahr, the coat of the Nilgiri tahr is short – probably as an adaptation to the wet climate this species inhabits (Prater, 1971; Rice, 1990). There is significant dimorphism between mature males and females. Females and immature males are an overall yellowish-brown to grey, with the underparts being paler (Lydekker, 1913; Prater, 1971; Rice, 1988; Nowak, 1991). The only significant marking on the coat is a dark stripe which runs down the dorsal midline (Lydekker, 1913). As males age, their pelage darkens to a deep chocolate or even blackish-brown – a process which begins at two years of age and takes over four years to complete (Lydekker, 1913; Prater, 1971; Rice, 1988). As this occurs, the shoulders, neck, and legs turn nearly black, with white knee-spots marking the anterior surface of the front legs (Rice, 1990). A distinctive silvery saddle-patch marks the back of mature male Nilgiri tahr, starting out as an indistinct light tan area at five years of age and becoming lighter and more defined until around eight years (Lydekker, 1913; Prater, 1971; Rice, 1988). The face of female Nilgiri tahr is the same color as the body and has no distinctive markings. In mature males, the face is nearly black and strikingly marked (Lydekker, 1913; Rice, 1990). A fawn-colored ring encircles the eye, with a similarly-colored patch behind each eye (Lydekker, 1913). In addition, a silvery stripe on side of face runs from in front of the eye towards the muzzle, much like the dark facial stripes seen in gazelles (Lydekker, 1913). There is no beard present in either sex (Nowak, 1991). Females have two nipples, unlike the two other species of tahr which have four (Nowak, 1991).

Both sexes of H. hylocrius bear relatively short curving horns. Arising very close to each other at the top of the skull, the horns rise nearly parallel before diverging and curling downward (Prater, 1971). Their front surface (along the outer curve) is highly convex and has deeply transverse wrinkles, while the inner surface is almost flat (Lydekker, 1913; Prater, 1971). The horns lack the ridged keel seen in Himalayan tahr (Prater, 1971). The record horn length in males is 44.5 cm, with a girth of 25.1 cm (Lydekker, 1913; Prater, 1971). The horns of females are shorter and slenderer, typically up to 30 cm although the maximum recorded horn length is 35.6 cm (Prater, 1971; Rice, 1988).

Ontogeny and Reproduction

The main breeding season (rut) of wild Nilgiri tahr is from June to August during the monsoons (Rice, 1990; Robinson, 2005). There is a corresponding peak in births in the cool, clear weather of January and February, although young may be seen throughout the year (Prater, 1971; Rice, 1990; Robinson, 2005). Captive births at the Memphis Zoo were not seasonal, although males were most aggressive between September and November (Wilson, 1980). (Wilson, 1980). A single kid (rarely two) is born after a gestation period which lasts 178 to 190 days (see Prater, 1971; Wilson, 1980; Rice, 1990; Robinson, 2005). Females are highly protective of their offspring and will adopt threatening postures if other herd members approach too closely (Wilson, 1980). For the first few weeks of life the infant lies hidden while the mother forages, but by two months of age the kid follows its mother (Wilson, 1980). Young may begin tasting solid food as early as two weeks of age, although they are not weaned until four (or sometimes six) months (Wilson, 1980; Rice, 1990). Sexual maturity in the wild is usually reached around three years of age, although in captivity females may produce their first offspring as early as 22 months of age, indicating sexual maturity at 16 months or younger (Wilson, 1980; Rice, 1990). Captive females are capable of breeding and producing offspring every 7-10 months (Wilson, 1980). Average life expectancy for Nilgiri tahr in the wild is estimated to be only three or 3.5 years, although the potential life span is at least 9 years (Rice, 1988; Rice, 1990).

Ecology and Behavior

Nilgiri tahr inhabit montane grasslands at elevations of 1,200-2,600 m above sea level (Rice, 1990; Mishra and Johnsingh, 1998; Kannery, 2002; Robinson, 2005). The climate of the region is very wet, with approximately four meters of precipitation falling every year (Rice, 1990). In the Anamalai Hills, Mishra and Johnsingh (1998) observed a preference for areas dominated by short meadows, although the tall grass species Cymbopogon exuosus was present in all the sites studied. Major short grass species included Heteropogon contortus, Themeda triandra, and Chrysopogon aciculatus (Mishra and Johnsingh, 1998). Tahr observed in the neighbouring Eravikulam National Park were found in two principal grassland communities, one dominated by Eulalia phaeothrix and lschaemum indicum and the other by Andropogon polyptichus, both with similar vegetative cover but with forbs in higher abundance in the latter (Rice, 1988). In all cases, the meadows used by tahr are typically above the forest line and adjacent to rocky crags which are used for shelter and as a refuge when threatened (Prater, 1971; Rice, 1990). Indeed, Rice (1988) suggests that grazing habitat for Nilgiri tahr is limited by the availability of cliffs (escape terrain), and not by appropriate food species. At lower elevations, the grasslands are replaced by stunted evergreen forests known locally as “sholas”, which are typically avoided by tahr (Rice, 1988; Robinson, 2005). Nilgiri tahr are active from dawn to late evening, grazing most frequently in the early morning and late afternoon (Prater, 1971; Nowak, 1991). When the sun is at its peak, tahr retreat to higher, rockier terrain in order to rest in the relatively secure shade of cliffs (Prater, 1971). While the herd rests, at least one member (usually a female) remains alert, serving as a sentinel and watching for predators (Prater, 1971; Wilson, 1980). These animals are sharp-sighted and able to spot danger approaching from below at a distance, but are less aware of danger descending from above (Prater, 1971). Alarm is sounded as a whistle or snort (Wilson, 1980).

The social system of the Nilgiri tahr is rather flexible. Animals may associate in groups as small as six animals or as large as 150, but typically a herd contains 11-71 individuals (Prater, 1971; Robinson, 2005). In Eravikulam National Park, the average herd size is 42 individuals (Rice, 1990). Mixed herds are common, as are all-male groups and maternal herds composed of adult females and their young (Robinson, 2005). Old males associate in larger mixed herds during the breeding season, but are often solitary or in small all-male groups at other times of the year, especially the hot season (Prater, 1971; Rice, 1990). While female herds typically inhabit particular home ranges, adult males will move between these groups (Rice, 1990). The sex ratio of the wild population is skewed towards females, with an average of 59.7 (range of 53.7 to 66.7) males for every 100 females; adult females also make up a large proportion (40-45%) of the total population (Rice, 1988).

When mature males join female herds during the rut, a dominance hierarchy evolves based on size and age of the animal involved (Rice, 1990). If two males are evenly matched, a fight will develop, but not before a ritualized pre-fight display, in which males will lower their heads, arch their backs, and walk with a stiff-legged gait (Wilson, 1980). Several fighting positions have been recorded between rival males: standing side by side, both facing the same direction, and knocking the sides of the horns together; crashing their horns head-on; or standing parallel but facing opposite directions, and ramming the shoulders and flanks of the rival with their horns (Wilson, 1980; Rice, 1990). This last posture can be extremely dangerous, as the sharp tips of the horns can cause extensive damage when hooked sharply upwards; these fights can end in death (Wilson, 1980). When engaged in combat, males can be oblivious to their immediate surroundings – as they spin around each other, they usually travel downhill and will continue to fight even if they leave the upland grassland and enter the sholas below (Rice, 1988). The loser of any male-male conflict is typically driven from the group, although they may return and be tolerated if they defer to the dominant animal (Rice, 1990).

In the wild, Nilgiri tahr are preyed upon by leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus), while a large number are also taken by humans (Rice, 1988; Rice,. 1990). Prater (1971) alone adds the tiger (Panthera tigris) to this list. When threatened, tahr flee to inaccessible terrain in the crags above the grazing meadows. As with most caprines, they are extremely quick and sure-footed over precipitous ground (Prater, 1971).

H. hylocrius is a grazer, feeding on herbs and grasses (Rice, 1990; Robinson, 2005).


Nilgiri tahr have a karyotype of 2n=58, of which only one chromosome is metacentric; the entire karyotype is presented in Bernischke and Kumamoto (1980).


The Nilgiri tahr is endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India, straddling the border between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu (Rice, 1990; Fox and Johnsingh, 1997).

Countries: India (IUCN, 2004).
Range Map (Redrawn from Fox and Johnsingh, 1997) ********

Conservation Status

The IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group classifies the Nilgiri tahr as endangered (2004), but it does not appear on any CITES appendix. The present population is estimated to be between 2,000 and 2,500 individuals; current trends indicate that these numbers are in decline (Fox and Johnsingh, 1997). Nilgiri tahr exist only in small, isolated populations due to extreme habitat fragmentation and are thus vulnerable to local extinction (Fox and Johnsingh, 1997; IUCN, 2004). While Eravikulam National Park supports nearly 1,000 individuals, only one other area, the Grass Hills in Anamalai, maintains a population of more than 300 animals (Fox and Johnsingh, 1997; Kannery, 2002). As an endemic species, H. hylocrius receives full (legal) protection under the Indian Wildlife Act of 1972 – unfortunately this protection is rarely enforced and illegal hunting is a major threat (Fox and Johnsingh, 1997; Kannery, 2002; IUCN, 2004). The many facets of habitat loss are another big threat to the continued survival of the Nilgiri tahr. Overgrazing by domestic livestock increases competition and reduces available forage (and thus the number of tahr which can survive in a given area), but also allows for the invasion of graze-resistant weedy species into meadows, causing further decline in the grasses which tahr feed upon (Mishra and Johnsingh, 1998). Compounding this problem, the grassland habitat of the tahr continues to be converted into agricultural land, with the result that the present distribution of H. hylocrius is about one-tenth of its historical range (Mishra and Johnsingh, 1998; Kannery, 2002; IUCN, 2004). Inbreeding (a result of such small, isolated populations) may prove to be a future concern to the survival of the Nilgiri tahr (Kannery, 2002).


Nilgiri is an Indian word meaning “Blue Hills” – these tahr are found in Nilgiri District in Tamil Nadu State. Thar is a Nepalese name for the closely related Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus).

Hemitragus is derived from the Greek hemi (half) and tragos (a goat) – tahr have many characters in common with true goats (Capra), but lack a beard and have several other unique features. The species name hylocrius translates as “goat of the woods”, from the Greek words hule, meaning a wood or forest, and krios, which translates as a sheep or ram.

Local names

Varai ádoo, Varayadu [Tamil and Kanarese] (Prater, 1971; Kannery, 2002) Mulla átu [Malayalam] (Prater, 1971) French Tahr des monts Nilgiri (Rice, 1990) German Nilgiritahr (Rice, 1990)


Literature Cited

Bernischke, K. and A. T. Kumamoto. 1980. The chromosomes of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius. International Zoo Yearbook 20: 274-275. Fox, L. J., and A. J. T. Johnsingh. 1997. India. In Wild sheep and goats and their relatives. Status survey and conservation action plan for Caprinae. Edited by D. M. Shackleton. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. Chapter pagination: 215-231.

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available online at
Kannery, S. S. 2002. Ponmudi-Ibex Hill: Vanishing habitat of an isolated population of Nilgiri tahr. Caprinae (Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group; August 2002: 5.

Available online at
Lydekker, R. 1913. Catalogue of the Ungulate Mammals in the British Museum (Natural History). London and New York: Johnson Reprint Company.

Mishra, C., and A. J. T. Johnsingh. 1998. Population and conservation status of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius in Anamalai Hills, south India. Biological Conservation; 86(2): 199-206.
Nowak, R. M. [editor]. 1991. Walker’s Mammals of the World (Fifth Edition). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Prater, S. H. 1971. The Book of Indian Animals (Third Edition). Bombay, India: Bombay Natural History Society.

Rice, C. G. 1988. Habitat, population dynamics, and conservation of the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Biological Conservation; 44(3): 137-156.

Rice, C. G. 1990. Tahrs (Genus Hemitragus). In Grzimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals. Edited by S. P. Parker. New York: McGraw-Hill. Volume 5, pp.542-544.

Robinson, M. 2005. The Arabian tahr: A review of its biology and conservation. Caprinae (Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group; October 2005: 2-4. Available online at

Wilson, C. G. 1980. The breeding and management of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius at Memphis Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook; 20: 104-106.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder [editors]. 1993. Mammal Species of the World (Second Edition). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. Available online at

Additional Resources

*Abraham, S. K., P. S. Easa, and M. Sivaram. 2006. Status and distribution of Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius in Kerala part of the Western Ghats. Zoos Print Journal; 21(9): 2379-2385. Balakrishnan, M. 1984. The larger mammals and their endangered habitat in the Silent Valley forests of south India. Biological Conservation; 29(3): 277-286.

Chandran, P. R. 1980. Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius) in captivity. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 77: 129-130.

Daniel, J. 1971. The Nilgiri tahr, Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby, in the High Range, Kerala and the southern hills of the Western Ghats. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 67: 535-542.

Daniel, M. 1987. A short note on a new found group of tahr. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 84: 673-674.

Davidar, E. R. C. 1963. Census of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius (Ogilby) in the Nilgiris. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 60: 251-252.

Davidar, E. R. C. 1971. A note on the status of the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius) on the Grass Hills in the Anamallais. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 68: 347-354.
Davidar, E. R. C. 1975. The Nilgiri tahr. Oryx; 13: 205-211.

Davidar, E. R. C. 1976. Census of the Nilgiri tahr in the Nilgiris. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 73: 143-148.

Davidar, E. R. C. 1978. Distribution and status of the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius) 1975-1978. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 75: 815-844.

Davidar, E. R. C. 1990. The Nilgiri tahr of the Nilgiris. Tahr (Newsletter of the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association); 1(1): 10-11.

Davidar, E. R. C., and H.L. Townsend [editors]. 1977. Nilgiri Wild Life Association Centenary 1877-1977. Ooty, India: Nilgiri Wild Life Association. 90pp.

Ensthaler, J. D. 1980. Nilgiri-Tahr: Zwischen Wachtern und Wildern. Sielmanns Tierwelt; 9(4): 40-47.

Fischer, C. 1915. The Nilgiri wild goat (Hemitragus hylocrius Jerdon). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 24: 189.

Hutton, A. 1947. The Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 47: 374-376.

Java, R. L. 1980. The Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Tigerpaper; 16(1): 31-32.
Johnsingh, A. J. T. 1970. An interesting behaviour of three Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby 1833) kids. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 76: 154.

Killmar, L. E. 1982. Management problems of large mixed species exhibits at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Annual Conference Proceedings: 229-234.

Kinloch, A. 1926. The Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 31: 520-521.

Madhusudan, M. D., and A. J. T. Johnsingh. 1998. Analysis of habitat-use using ordination: The Nilgiri tahr in southern India. Current Science Bangalore; 74(11): 1000-1003.

Nielsen, N. O., J. Oosterhuis, D. Janssen, K. McColl, M. P. Anderson, and W. P. Heuschele. 1988. Fatal respiratory disease in Nilgiri tahr: Possibly malignant catarrhal fever. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research; 52: 216-221.

Ogilby, W. 1838. Exhibition of the skins of two species of the genus Kemas. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London; 5: 81.

Pichner, J. [editor]. 1988. 1987 North American Regional Nilgiri Tahr Studbook. Apple Valley, Minnesota: Minnesota Zoological Gardens. 35pp.

Pillai, N. G. 1963. The Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius) in captivity. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 60: 451-454.

Potti, S. P. 1966. A note on the breeding of the Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius at Trichur Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook; 6: 206.

Rice, C. G. 1984. The behavior and ecology of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby, 1838). Unpubl. Ph.D. Thesis, Texas A and M University, College Station. 254pp.

Rice, C. G. 1985. Courting ’round the mountain. Animal Kingdom; 88(6): 22-31.

Rice, C. G. 1985. The Nilgiri tahr. Sanctuary Asia; 5: 126-135.

Rice, C. G. 1986. Obervations on predators and prey at Eravikulam National Park, Kerala, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 83(2): 283-305.

*Rice, C. G. 1988. Reproductive biology of the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitagus hylocrius Mammalia, Bovidae). Journal of Zoology London; 214(2): 269-284.

Rice, C. G. 1988. Notes on the food habits of Nilgiri tahr. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 85: 188-189.

Rice, C. G. 1988. Agonistic and sexual behavior of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Ethology; 78(2): 89-112.

Rice, C. G. 1988. The Nilgiri tahr. The India Magazine; 8(4): 20-31.

Rice, C. G. 1989. Growth, maturation, and physical characteristics of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 86(2): 129-134.

Schaller, G. 1971. Observations on the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby, 1838). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society; 67: 365-389.

Schoeberl, B. J. 1980. Management of the Nilgiri tahr at the Minnesota Zoological Garden. In 1988 North American Regional Nilgiri Tahr Studbook. Edited by F. Swengel. Apple Valley, Minnesota: Minnesota Zoological Garden. pp.8-12.

Surendra-Varman, K. 1996. Population count of nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Ogilby) in Mukuruti National Park, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India. Tigerpaper (Bangkok); 23(2): 4-8.

Swengel, F. B. [editor] 1988a. 1988 North American Regional Nilgiri Tahr Studbook. Apple Valley, Minnesota:Minnesota Zoological Garden.

Swengel, F. B. 1988b. History of the Nilgiri tahr in captivity. In 1987 North American Regional Nilgiri Tahr Studbook. Edited by J. Pichner. Apple Valley, Minnesota: Minnesota Zoological Garden. pp.7-12.

Swengel, F. B. 1988c. The Nilgiri tahr: A summary and bibliography. In 1987 North American Regional Nilgiri Tahr Studbook. Edited by J. Pichner. Apple Valley, Minnesota: Minnesota Zoological Garden. pp. 1-6

Swengel, F. B. 1990. Genetic and demographic status of the Nilgiri tahr in North American zoos. In Proceedings of the First International Symposium: The Role of Zoos in Wildlife Management. Edited by S. Chavan, P. P. Raval, and S. Walker. Coimbatore, India: Zoo Outreach Organisation. pp.6-8.

Swengel, F. B. 1990. Nilgiri tahr bibliography. AAZPA Librarians Special Interest Group Bibliography Service. Available online at

Swengel, F. B., and J. Pichner. 1987. Status and management of the Nilgiri tahr in captivity. 1987 AAZPA Regional Conference Proceedings: 584-589.

Thomas, W. D., R. Barnes, M. Crotty, and M. Jones. 1986. An historical overview of selected rare ruminants in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook; 24/25: 77-99.

Thyagarajan, N. 1958. The vanishing ibex. Indian Forester; 84: 188-191.

Willett, J. 1960. The Nilgiri tahr. Animals; 12(1): 6-7.

Swaminomics: Makes so much sense

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Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar had made an interesting case against cutting oil price in his regular column: Swaminomics.

Last week when the price of oil almost fell to $65, the political machinery in India was momentarily distracted, from the usual walk outs, protests and not to mention fattening their bank accounts. All of a sudden, every MP worth his salt was clamoring for a price cut, keeping in mind their larger interest (read general elections).

Feeling the heat, and also keeping the larger interest of the ruling party in mind, petroleum minister Murli Deora announced price cuts for fuel within a week.

Ironically, a few days earlier, Swaminathan had warned against cutting the oil price. History is a great teacher, only if we are willing to learn from it. In the mid 80’s India had built up a cushion in the form of OPA (Oil Pool Account) by implementing controlled fuel prices. When the global oil prices dropped, the Indian govt. maintained the same price, and the surplus money went in to OPA. This cushion protected the economy in the 90’s when the global oil prices shot up. The oil companies were compensated for selling the fuel at a lower price when the global prices were shooting up.

After reading Swaminomics, I was convinced that this is the right way to go about addressing the fuel price issue. Politicians should not give in to ulterior motives and cheap politics. Instead, keeping in mind the interest of the Indian economy against the global recession, we need to build up a cushion again. Make hay while the sun shines. Let’s prepare for eventualities arising out of a hike in global oil prices.

OPEC is already cutting down on the output to shore up the plummeting oil prices. And not to mention the so called environmentalists have been lobbying for heavy taxes on fuel, in order to discourage its wasteful consumption. With the stock prices taking a free fall, companies slashing their workforce to minimize on losses, the last thing I would want is fuel prices shooting up. It may not be happening now. But it will happen eventually. Oil wells are not perennial.

Though the general population will heave a huge sigh of relief if the fuel prices are cut, that is temporary.

I hope someone is listening.

Image Source: Philippe TASTET


Arunava Slams Gilchrist In 80 Feet Road


Gilchrist Slams Tendulkar In Autobiography

Memories of the controversial Sydney Test that threatened to derail India’s tour of Australia earlier this year have been revived with Adam Gilchrist questioning Sachin Tendulkar’s evidence in the Harbhajan Singh racism case in his soon-to-be-published autobiography.

Gilchrist called his evidence a “joke” and said when Tendulkar told the first hearing that he could not hear Harbhajan said to Andrew Symonds, he was “certain he was telling the truth” because he was “a fair way away”. But Gilchrist said during the appeal, Tendulkar said Harbhajan had used a Hindi word that sounded like monkey.

Harbhajan’s three-Test ban for racial abuse of Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test was overturned on appeal on the basis of oral evidence from Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Tendulkar. Harbhajan had been earlier found guilty of the charge levelled by Ponting, who complained to the umpires that Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey. India threatened to boycott the tour if Harbhajan was found guilty of the racism charge but the tour went on after the appeal went in his favour.

“The Indians got him off the hook when they, of all people, should have been treating the matter of racial vilification with the utmost seriousness.” Gilchrist said India’s threat to boycott the tour was “a disgraceful act, holding the game to ransom unless they got their way”.

Gilchrist also raised questions over Tendulkar’s sportsmanship and said he was “hard to find for a changing-room handshake after we have beaten India”.

“Harbhajan can also be hard to find. I guess it’s a case of different strokes for different folks.” Gilchrist said Australians played hard and were quick to shake hands and leave it all on the field.

Niranjan Shah, who was the BCCI secretary during the Sydney Test, said Gilchrist was looking for “cheap publicity” for his book. “First of all, the matter is over now,” Shah told Mid-Day, a Mumbai-based tabloid. “Since I was actively involved in the whole matter as the BCCI secretary, I have seen how neutrally the ICC has conducted the hearing. Despite all this, if Gilchrist feels otherwise, then rather than him questioning someone else’s credentials, we should examine his credentials. By doing all this, he is doing nothing but getting his image tarnished.”

However, there is a complete sense of racism when we come across disciplinary hearings by the ICC conferred on Asian players. It’s really an unavoidable circumstance that Gilchrist has created, because he very well knows that the media will make a cake out of flour. And it’s really a shameful act of blemishes committed by a dutiful cricketer of Australia. He is always regarded as the cleanest chit among the Aussies after David Boon and as Niranjan Shah has pointed out it will definitely tarnish his image now.

By Arunava Das

Yamma Maahi


Like majority of the female population of this country, I am a huge fan of Mahi. No I don’t think he is great looking nor adore his locks. What I adore about him is his temperament.

My longest lasting crush was on Rahul Dravid whom I again adored for his temperament. But I think Dhoni goes a step further. While Dravid was cool and composed Dhoni is aggressive, cool and composed. Dhoni is proactive and takes his job seriously as a captain. He has no hesitation about voicing his opinion or offering advice to the legends of the game as he looks upon them as players whom he is expected to lead. In the recent Mohali match I was amused to see him walk up to Dada to tell him something during their long partnership.

Another adorable quality is he is objective and leads from the front. The fact that he promoted himself before the fab 3 in the second innings without even worrying about whether they would feel slighted goes to show that for him “the team indeed comes first.”

The third quality that impresses me is the way he handles the press conferences. His answers are as straightforward and crude as his shots. For instance in the post-match conference at Mohali when he was asked about how India had got the better of Australia in verbal volleying, he retorted by saying, “if we had to win the match on verbals, we would have hired a few people who were experts at that” He is also refreshingly self-effacing and down-to earth.

Lastly and to me the most important are his special “gestures”. Its difficult enough to control the heady sense of victory and the adrenaline rush when we have won an important series. But captain cool does not just keep cool but goes beyond that. How? Remember when India won the One day series down under when people all around were dancing about in glee, Dhoni quietly headed towards the dressing room to find Sachin whose important innings had won India the match. Numerous other gestures like driving the bike no matter who won the man of the match, handing over the stump to Ganguly or even giving his shirt to a young kid on the boundary line.

In this modern age of at times dirty aggressive cricket, its nice to see these warm gestures which bring out the softer- humane side of our super-heroes.


Paris – Going Green…

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By Shilz

A couple of days back, I read a review about a new self-service “bicycle transit system” called Vélib’ in Paris. This is a public bicycle rental program in Paris, France. 10,000 bicycles were introduced to the city with 750 automated rental stations each with 15 or more bikes/spaces. This number has since grown to 20,000 bicycles and 1,450 stations, about 1 station every 300 m throughout the city centre, making Vélib’ the largest system of its kind in the world.

Guess what? There are daily, weekly, monthly and annual passes available for residents to access these bikes which can be picked up and returned at any of the stations. Easier and simple! To access the bikes, riders can select a one-day card for 1 euro, a weekly card for 5 euros or an annual card for 29 euros.Each Velib’ parking station will be equipped with muni-meters to purchase one and 7-day passes and to pay any additional charges once the bike is dropped off. The Velib’ meters will also provide information on other station locations.

With this system, no worries of obesity or environmental pollution. By using such bicycles, you will not only be healthy, but also save our planet, Earth. After all, this magnificent earth is our only home.

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