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Assam burns horns of one-horned rhinoceros on World Rhino Day

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    28th Sep, 2021

Context

Assam marked World Rhino Day (September 22) with a special ceremony by burning a stockpile of nearly 2,500 horns of the one-horned rhinoceros.

About

About 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 a vulnerable

Vulnerable (VU), a category containing those species that possess a very high risk of extinction as a result of rapid population declines of 30 to more than 50 percent over the previous 10 years (or three generations), a current population size of fewer than 1,000 individuals, or other factors.

  • 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).

Population of Rhino

  • At 71%, Assam is home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros.
  • According to a 2018 census, there are nearly 2,650 rhinos in the state with around 2,400 of them in the Kaziranga National Park.
    • 101 in Orang National Park
    • 102 in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
    • 43 in the Manas National Park

What is the purpose of the ceremony?

  • The main purpose of this ceremony is aimed at “busting myths about rhino horns”
  • It’s a loud and clear message to the poachers and smugglers that such items have no value.
    • However, in the illegal market such horns can fetch a high price. 
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