Indian National Park To Conduct One-Horned Rhino Census

Zimbabwe To Re-Introduce Rhinos Into National Parks

Kaziranga National Park in India is full of biodiversity and authorities who manage the park have decided to conduct a census of the park’s population of one-horned rhinos. The people responsible for undertaking the census will make use of sports vehicles and elephants to count the rhinos. The park itself is a Unesco World Heritage Site and it is located in the North-Eastern part of India in a state known as Assam and serves as home to more than two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhino population.

Population has been increasing

The census takes place every three years and occurs over a two-day period. The most recent survey took place in 2015 and back then there were 2,401 rhinos that were counted representing an increase in population from the census conducted in 2012. Pramila Rani Brahma who is the environment minister for Assam says the government expects the rhino population in the park to increase this year as well.

Sanctuary for many species

Authorities have divided the park which measures 430 square kilometres into 74 different compartments and there will be 300 government and NGO officials conducting the count. The park was founded back in 1905 and since its establishment, it has been a massive success in conserving and increasing animal populations. The park is not only a sanctuary for one-horned rhinos but has also been declared a tiger reserve by the government of India. It also serves as home to elephants, wild water buffaloes and a number of species of birds. The rivers that criss-cross the park are also populated by the extremely endangered South Asian river dolphin which is also known as the Ganges dolphin.

Not without controversy

Despite all the success the park has had with conservation it has not come without controversy. The Indian government has awarded special powers to park rangers to protect animals in the park. These powers are usually only given to soldiers who are deployed in areas where civil unrest and insurgency is taking place. In 2015 for example, park rangers shot and killed more people than poachers killed rhinos. According to local media reports this year poachers have managed to kill three rhinos in the park so far. Last year seven rhinos were killed and in 2016, 14 rhinos were poached.

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