Collective conservation efforts boost the rhino population in Kaziranga

Greater One-horned Indian rhinoceros at dusk, Photo credit: KarthikOne big challenge that any wildlife enthusiast encounters while visiting tiger reserves in India is actually spotting a tiger. Often, visitors leave the park without getting an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the national animal. For many years, the same problem was endured by the travelers who came to watch the rhinoceroses at the Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site, situated in the enchanting northeastern state of Assam. Some centuries ago, there were only few rhinos left in the park because of the excessive hunting or poaching.

However, the good news is that the situation in the park has taken a complete turnaround. Now, when the tourists take a stroll to the park by jeep or elephant safari, they can witness a great increase in the population of rhinoceroses in every corner of the park. Surprised, how the declining numbers of the rhino population increased significantly? Well, it is an excellent successful conservation effort undertaken by the government that has prevented the rhinos from the brink of extinction.

A census carried inside the Kaziranga National Park has confirmed 37 per cent rise in the one horned rhino population. The population of the one-horned great Indian rhinoceros in the park is now 2329 according to the latest census when compared with the last census in April 2012 that had calculated 2290 rhinos. Beside the government’s efforts, the forest officials also give the credit of this increasing population to local people who participate actively to protect this endangered animal from the poachers.

Why Rhinos are killed?

Rhinos are killed every year in large numbers because of their horns which are considered to have some kind of medicinal or magical properties. Many people believe that the horn can be used for the purpose of curing hangovers and cancer. However, all this a myth that is only responsible for the dwindling numbers of the rhinoceroses. That is not all as there is a huge demand even for the tail, skin and nail of the rhino in the global market. By selling these things, the poachers can earn a huge amount of money, which enough for feeding their families for a year. Unless some concrete efforts are undertaken by the government, associations or bodies to create a public awareness, these superstitions will continue to play with the lives of precious rhinos.

Prominent Efforts Initiated to Conserve Rhinoceroses in Kaziranga National Park

In order to prevent the rhinos from the poachers and increase their numbers, following are some of the prominent steps that have been undertaken by the government:

Installing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

The government has decided to deploy the unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as the drones to shield the rare one horned rhinos from the clutches of poachers. It is for the first time that the country has decided to employ such a kind of technology to conserve the wildlife. The drones have the ability to fly at a maximum elevation of 200 m. The main advantage of using the UAVs is that they will keep an eye on the various areas of rhinos that were previously considered to be unreachable.

Indian Rhino Vision 2020

A very unique program has been started by the government known as the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020. The main goal of this particular program is to increase the population of the rhinos to 3000 by the year 2020. In order to meet its objective, the government has decided to boost the level of security in all the major rhino areas in Assam. The forest staff has been strengthened by providing them AK 47 rifles and the wireless communication system has also been improved.There is a no denying fact that the government is formulating some plans to save the rhinos, but the need of the hour here is to take some more strict actions. Severe punishment must be provided to the poachers so as to instill fear in their minds. Hunting the helpless animals just for minting some money is really an atrocious activity. Every care must be undertaken to ensure that the pride of Kaziranga remains alive for the centuries to come.

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