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Population of one-horned rhinos rises by 200 at Kaziranga National Park

  • Published
    30th Mar, 2022
Context

According to a recent survey, the population of one-horned rhinoceros at the Kaziranga National Park has registered an increase of 200, taking the total to 2,613.

  • This was the 14th Rhino Population Census.
About

Key Findings:

  • The survey revealed the presence of:
    • 1,823 adult rhinos (above six years)
    • 365 sub-adult (between three to six years)
    • 279 juvenile (one to three years)
    • calves 146 (0 to one year)
  • Assam now has an estimated 2,845 rhinos, the highest in India, if the figures of the recent surveys in two other rhino habitats are factored in.
  • The Orang National Park has 125 rhinos while the Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary has 107 rhinos, a rise of 24 and five over the 2018 survey figures.
  • The census at Manas National Park found 48 rhinos in April 2021.

Important facts about Rhino

  • There are five species and 11 subspecies of rhino. White, Black, Indian, Javan, and Sumatran make up the five species of rhino in the world. 
    • White and black rhinoceros are native to Africa.
    • Indian, Javan and Sumatran can be found in India and Asia.
  • Habitat: The animal is primarily found in the Himalayan foothills — India and Nepal.
  • World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 to make people more aware about rhinos and promote its conservation.

Conservation Status

  • The IUCN lists the one-horned rhino, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, as vulnerable.
  • Rhinoceros are listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as endangered animals.
  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 allows for destruction of wildlife parts (including rhino horn) under Section 39 (3).
  • There is an international ban on trade of rhino horns under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

About Kaziranga National Park (KNP):

  • It is located in the State of Assam and covers 42,996 Hectare (ha).
  • It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.
  • Legal Status:
    • It was declared as a National Park in 1974.
    • It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007. It has a total tiger reserve area of 1,030 sq km with a core area of 430 sq. km.
  • International Status:
    • It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
    • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
  • Important Species Found:
    • It is the home of the world's most one-horned rhinos.
    • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the highest density of one-horned rhinos in the world and second highest number of Rhinos in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
    • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the 'big four' species— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
    • Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.

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