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Rhino reintroduction success in Assam

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    21st Jun, 2022

Context

Recently, the latest census (14th Assam rhino estimation) revealed that the Manas National Park rhinos have higher life expectancy but need translocation support.

About

The 14th Assam rhino estimation 

  • The rhino census in the Manas Park was carried out in all three ranges: Bhuyanpara, Bansbari and Panbari comprising 71 estimation blocks. 
  • The current rhino population in the park was estimated at 40.
  • The park’s rhinos have a male-female sex ratio of 1:1.
  • The number of calves born in the wild reflects the availability of welfare factors to foster rhinos in Manas National Park.
  • Methodology: Total count or Direct count method
    • A total count is generally used when a single species is targeted to be counted in a well-defined, specific area.
    • This method assumes the detection probability to be one, which means that each and every animal has a 100% chance of being seen during the counting.

Limitations of this method

  • The limitations of this method include undercounting as the assumption of a detection probability of 1 is unrealistic especially if the population closure cannot be established satisfactorily within a small area of 10-20 sq. km.
  • Total count requires high visibility to observe the animals from far off, which is not possible in case of “shy, cryptic animals”.
  • The level of precision cannot be measured in total counts either.

About Greater One-Horned Rhino

  • There are three species of rhino in Asia-
    • Greater one-horned (Rhinoceros unicornis)
    • Javan
    • Sumatran
  • World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year.
  • The five rhino range nations are India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • They have signed ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species.
  • IUCN Red list-
    • Javan and Sumatran Rhino are critically endangered
    • Greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino is vulnerable
  • CITES-
    • All three listed under Appendix I 
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972-
    • Greater one-horned rhino is listed under the Schedule I of the Act. 
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