GS Paper III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Rhinoceros: a successful conservation story in India
From a population of barely 75 in 1905, Indian rhinos numbered over 2,700 by 2012.
SOURCE: World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India), a global wildlife advocacy.
Known by the scientific name of Rhinoceros unicornis,
these animals are mega-herbivores,
rhino are keystone species – known to have a disproportionately large impact on its environment relative to its population – according to research conducted in South Africa’s Kruger National Park in 2014.
The habitat of the Indian rhino once extended from Pakistan into northern India and modern-day Myanmar, reaching into Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
extensive poaching for its horn – believed to have medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties – led to its extinction in all these countries, except in India and Nepal.
In India, rhinos can now be found in parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam. In 2012, more than 91 per cent of Indian rhinos lived in Assam, according to WWF-India data
spread them over seven of the state’s protected areas: Kaziranga, Pobitora, Orang national park, Manas national park, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary
Within Assam, rhinos are concentrated within Kaziranga national park, with a few in Pobitara wildlife sanctuary. Kaziranga is home to more than 91 per cent of Assam’s rhinos .
Measures taken by Indian govt:
Indian Rhino Vision 2020 programme (IRV2020), a collaborative effort between various organisations, including the International Rhino Foundation, Assam’s Forest Department, Bodoland Territorial Council, WWF-India, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service
IRV2020 hopes to raise the number of rhinos in Assam to 3,000 by 2020
successful attempt to move rhinos out of Assam and re-introduce them into a similar habitat was made in 1984 in Uttar Pradesh’s Dudhwa national park.