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Rhino population up by 200 in Kaziranga

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 31, Mar 2022
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The population of the greater one-horned or Indian rhinoceros in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve has increased by 200 in four years.

  • The last rhino census conducted in 2018 had put the number at 2,413.
  • This year’s census had a first — the use of drones for the recheck of 26 park compartments where the sample survey was done.
  • A similar census was conducted in two more of Assam’s rhino habitats earlier in March. The Orang National Park recorded an increase of 24 rhinos over the figure of 101 in 2018
    • The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary recorded five more rhinos than in 2018.

Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros

  • Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species. 
  • India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world. 
    • At present, there are about 2,600 Indian rhinos in India, with more than 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.
  • Habitat: The species is restricted to small habitats in Indo-Nepal terai and northern West Bengal and Assam.
  • In India, rhinos are mainly found in 
    • Kaziranga NP, Pobitora WLS, Orang NP, Manas NP in Assam, 
    • Jaldapara NP and Gorumara NP in West Bengal 
    • Dudhwa TR in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Threats:
  • Poaching for the horns
  • Habitat loss
  • Population density
  • Decreasing Genetic diversity
  • Protection Status:
  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
  • CITES: Appendix-I
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.