In Assam’s Pobitora National Park, the population of one-horned rhinoceros has increased by five in the last four years. The park, which is located in the Morigaon district, has seen an increase in the number of one-horned species, which has risen from 102 in 2018 to 107 this year.
The total number of rhinoceros counted was 107, up to five from the previous count of 102 in 2018, according to Jayshree Naiding, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Guwahati Wildlife Division.
The rhino census, which lasted from Tuesday to Wednesday and covered 38.81 square kilometres, revealed that the rhino population had increased by five.
There are 30 male rhinos, 50 female rhinos, and 27 calves among the 107 rhinos.
Moreover, for the census, the Pobitora National Park was divided into nine unequal-sized blocks. According to Amit Sahai, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and head of forests force (HoFF), eleven enumerators and nine observers from the forest department and various organisations visited the blocks separately on elephant back and recorded data on the direct sighting.
He went on to say that the increase in rhino population in parks and sanctuaries is good news for the state because it will boost tourism opportunities. He also attributed the increase in rhino population to a significant decrease in poaching as a result of various forest department actions.
Moreover, from March 26 to March 30, the state Forest Department will conduct a three-day census of the one-horned rhinoceros population in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam. Two-thirds of the world’s population of the species lives in the Unesco World Heritage site in the north-eastern state.
The ’14th Rhino Population Estimation 2022′ is scheduled to take place from March 26 to 28 in all ranges of the national park, according to Eastern Assam Wildlife Division Divisional Forest Officer Ramesh Kumar Gogoi.
As a result, all ranges will be closed to elephant safari for the three days, while jeep safari will be suspended in different ranges on different dates according to a schedule.
Meanwhile, Gogoi stated that the Rhino population estimation is a required management practice and that tourism activities must be halted during this time in order for the estimation to proceed smoothly.
The park is home to elephants, wild water buffalo, and a variety of bird species in addition to one-horned rhinos and tigers. Dolphins from the Ganges River can also be found in the park’s rivers.
Protecting Rhino Population Conservation
The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros is the largest of all Asian rhinoceros, and it was unfortunately pushed to the brink of extinction by the turn of the twentieth century.
The IUCN RedList for threatened species lists this megaherbivore as Vulnerable. After a survey by the IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group in 2007, it was estimated that there were close to 2,575 one-horned rhinos in the wild, spread across parts of India and Nepal, with India accounting for over 85% of the population with 2,200 rhinos.
Poaching and habitat loss have drastically reduced the distribution and population of Greater one-horned rhinoceros in most parts of South Asia, leaving only around 3500 individuals in total, with 82 per cent of them found only in India.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India), a global wildlife advocacy organisation, Indian rhinos numbered over 2,700 in 2012, up from a population of just 75 in 1905.
Over the last five decades, WWF India has worked tirelessly to protect the Indian rhino. WWF India is working with the government of Assam and other partners on the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV2020) to increase the population of rhinos from about 2500 to 3000 and expand distribution to seven Protected Areas.
WWF India is looking for a vision beyond 2020 to increase rhino distribution in potential habitats in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh in the current decade.