The Nilgiri tahr Hemitragus hylocrius, a wild goat confined to mountain tops along the Western Ghats in southern India, is listed in the IUCN Red Data Book of endangered species on the basis of surveys made by the author. In 1963 he organised the first tahr census for the Nilgiri Wild Life Association, of which he was Hon. Superintendent, and since then has made surveys in the Grass Hills (in the Anamallais) and the High Range (Eravikulam) in Kerala and Kodayar (Tamil Nadu). In 1972/73, sponsored by the Fauna Preservation Society, he made the population studies in the upper Palani Plateau, and the Highwavy Mountains, both in Madurai District in Tamil Nadu, described in this article. In both areas he found tahr numbers seriously reduced, and the main causes to be poaching and habitat destruction. In March this year the Kerala State Government declared the Eravikulam/Rajmallay/Animudi area a sanctuary, which brings most of the range of the tahr under protection. But enforcing the protection may be more difficult, and it remains to be seen whether the tahr were better protected by the High Range Game Association, who protected the largest tahr population from poaching in the interests of their members' strictly limited hunting. Photographs in this article are by the author.