In the 1820s vegetables were first introduced by the British and beans, cauliflowers, cabbages, carrots, etc. started to be cultivated by the Badagas. In 1885, tea was introduced and this spread steadily, now covering 50 percent of the total cropped area of the Nilgiris. It contributed significantly to change in land use from mixed diverse food crops to mono-cultural cash crop.

Post-Indian independence, settlements got regularized and slash and burn were illegal. The movement of communities like the Irulas and Kurumbas got restricted to the demarcated village lands. This changed the mobile lifestyle and ecosystem responses to one of the sedentary ways. With the spread of plantations closer to village areas and schemes by the government, these lands also got converted into small plantations of mainly coffee and tea. However, in most of the villages, some of the lands were left fallow. This was occasionally cultivated for millets but became overgrown with secondary growth and weeds – a home for wild animals like boar, bison and elephants.