Indian Rhino (one-horned Rhino)
Scientific name: Rhinoceros unicornis
What has happened?
Kaziranga’s iconic one-horned rhino population has risen by 12 individuals. The latest headcount of the armour-plated herbivore in Assam’s world-famous reserve put the estimated number at 2,413 rhinos. This is an increase of a dozen over the 2015 figure.
Fewer Rhinos due to incomplete grass burning
- Fewer rhinos may have been sighted this time due to the incomplete burning of tall grasses and reeds
- This could be due to high moisture content
- Burning of grasses is necessary for regeneration of low-lying vegetation in the 434 sq. km. park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also faces annual floods.
Data released by the Assam Forest Department show that Kaziranga National Park now has 1,641 adult rhinos, of which 793 are females, 642 males and 206 ‘un-sexed’, which means the gender could not be ascertained.
Census at other places too
- Kaziranga is the second of four habitats where the census was conducted.
- The first was at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati, where the count this time was 102, up from 93 in 2012.
- The census at Manas National Park was over, and it would be done on April 2 in Orang National Park.
In 2005, the Assam Forest Department, in partnership with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and World Wide Fund (WWF) India, launched the ‘Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).’
- Goals: The goal is to reduce risks to India’s rhino population by ensuring that the animals are spread throughout multiple parks with favourable habitat to encourage population growth.
- Project partners: Assam Forest Department, the Bodoland Territorial Council, WWF, IRF, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service
Location: Kaziranga, Orang and Manas National Parks and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India
- Activities:Anti-poaching, monitoring, translocations and community conservation