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  • 23 September, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Indian Rhino/ Great One Horned Rhino

Indian Rhino/ Great One Horned Rhino

  • It is the largest Rhino species found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and India.
  • It is Vulnerable and in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • 22 September is Rhino Day.
  • India is home to 2,200 rhinos, or over 85 % population. In India, it is found in UP, West Bengal and Assam.
  • According to WWF data from 2012, Assam has 91 % of the total Rhino in India which is mainly concentrated in Kaziranga National Park (Largest absolute population), and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (largest density in the World). Others are Manas Tiger Reserve, Orang Tiger Reserve and Laokhowa Reserved Forests. Kaziranga has 70% of World's population.
  • Kaziranga National Park or Tiger Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Biodiversity Hotspot, home to 2/3rd of Indian Rhinos. Circumscribed by Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, and Dhiplu Rivers. It is an Important Bird Area given by Birdlife International.
  • Manas National Park/ Tiger Reserve/ Biosphere Reserve/ Elephant Reserve = UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continuous in Bhutan. Manas River splits into Beki & Bholkaduba river. Manas is also the border between India & Bhutan. Important for Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020)

  1. IRV 2020 was launched in 2005 and implemented by Assam Govt with the Bodo autonomous council as an active partner and supported by WWF- India.
  2. It is an ambitious effort to attain a wild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over 7 protected areas in Assam by 2020.
  3. IRV 2020 aims to translocate Rhinos from Kaziranga NP and Pabitora WS to 5 other protected areas namely Manas, Laokhowa, Buracharpori-Kochmora, Dibrusaikhowa and Orang.

New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019 by 5 Rhino range nations (Indian)

  • Organised by MoEF in collaboration with IUCN, Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak NGO.
  • 5 Rhino range nations are India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • To increase the population of 3 species of Asian rhinos (Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos) and to conserve and review the population every four years.

Threats to Rhino

  • It is threatened by poaching for horns, habitat destruction, flooding etc.
  • Kaziranga NP has the largest population and has reached its carrying capacity and might not support any more Rhinos. The entire population can be decimated by a disease outbreak, natural disaster etc. Hence, translocation is done.

Other Rhinos of the World

  1. Javan and Sumatran rhinos/ Andatu are currently classified as critically endangered. Both are regionally extinct in India.
  2. The Sumatran rhino, the smallest of all rhino species and the only Asian rhino with two horns, became extinct in the wild in Malaysia.
  3. World's last male Northern white rhino = Sudan. Now only 2 females left.
  4. The 3 species of Rhino in Asia — the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran.
  5. Black Rhino and White rhinos also have 2 horns but are in Africa.
  6. Javan and Sumatran Rhino are critically endangered.
  7. The greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino is vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. They are spread across India, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia and Malaysia. These countries are also known as Asian Rhino Range Countries.
  8. Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia. It is the smallest of all Rhino species. These are the only Asian rhinos with 2 horns. It is Critically Endangered in IUCN.
  9. Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board has cleared a proposal by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to introduce rhinoceroses in the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR).

Source: TH

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