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Census on One-horned Rhino shows progress

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    5th Apr, 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).

Rhino Operations in India:

Our annual operations include:

  • Providing logistical support and training for wildlife crime enforcement;
  • Tracking and monitoring rhinos on a continual basis to ensure their safety;
  • Continuing intensive monitoring of these populations;
  • Growing population by translocating animals to new, sustainable habitats;
  • Working with local communities to build support for rhino conservation through education and employment;
  • Habitat management, including invasive species removal.

About Indian Rhino Vision:

  • It was launched in 2005.
  • IRV 2020 is an initiative led by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, in partnership with WWF India, International Rhino Foundation, and several other organizations.
  • Wild-to-wild translocations were an essential part of IRV2020, moving rhinos from densely populated parks like Kaziranga NP, to ones in need of more rhinos, like Manas NP.
  • The goal of IRV2020 was to increase the rhino population in Assam to 3,000 by establishing populations in new areas.
  • Rhinos are now found in four Protected Areas in Assam: Pobitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and Manas National Park.
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