Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) 4 * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Saroj Khatiwada (Nepal)
Region : Nepal
Status : Vulnerable
Background :
By 1975, there were only 600 individuals of one horned Rhino surviving in the field. According to the Rhino census 2011, the population reaches 2,913 in Nepal & India, with 534 rhinos in Nepal alone. These data would make the conservationists euphoric & some would be surprised too. I am happy to present this information to all of you due to the opportunity provided by TUNZA ECO GENERATION. This is the reason behind why I had chose the Greater one-horned Rhinoceros as my topic of interest and also I am the resident of Rampur, Chitwan. It was an easy opportunity for me to visit the Chitwan National Park. Also, the number of rhinos poached in and around Chitwan in 2007 fell to only one. In 2011, Nepal celebrated a landmark year where zero rhinos were poached. One of the reason behind this success is the involvement of the local youth who volunteered to guard the rhinos through the night as Gaida Gasti(Rhino patrol). Only five species of rhino survive till today, in which all rhinos are under threat while one species is on the verge of extinction. And the species is the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros.

Characteristics :
Scientific name : Rhinoceros unicornis
Life span : 40-50 years
Physical : weight - 2,000 kg
             Diet - Hervivorous, thus feeds on a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses and fruits.
             Gestation- 16-18 months; a single calf
             Habitat : alluvial foodplains & nearby foothills, moist riverside forest.

Total population :
2,913 individuals in Nepal & India.

Population in Nepal: Total : 534
Chitwan National Park : 503
                                (an increase of 95 from census,2008).
                                Bardiya National Park : 24
                                (an increase of 2 from census,2008).
                                Suklaphanta National Park : 7
                                (an increase of 2 from census,2008).

There was total increase of 99 rhinos from 435 to 534(Census, 2011). Chitwan National Park holds the second largest population of the world after Kaziranga National Park.

Pecularities : Single black horn about 8-25 inches long & a grey-brown hide with skin folds that resemble plates of armor with rivets.

Uses :
1. Its horn is used in traditional Asian medicines, primarily for the treatment of Epilepsy, fevers & strokes.
2. They were killed as Agricultural pests in tea plantations.

Threats : The rhinos mainly are threatened by
1. Loss and degradation of habitat
2. Intense poaching
3. Endemic diseases
4. Natural calamities
5. Climate induced disaster
6. Inbreeding

Could Rhino be the example for the conservationists? The data & status suggests that it could be the best example. Greater one-Horned Rhinoceros number have recovered from less than 200 earlier in the 20th century to around 2900 today. This was possible due to conservation efforts & strict protection from Indian & Nepalese wildlife authorities.

Is there any involvement of youth for the conservation of this species? The local youth along with the Ex-army & police were engaged to patrol vulnerable points as Gaida Gasti(Rhino patrol).

Main conservation efforts accompanied :
1. Expansion of Chitwan National Park from 544 ㎢ to 972 ㎢ in 1977 to protect bigger species like Rhinos.
2. Gaida gasti(rhino patrol) was another succeeding effort.
    Example: Youth & Ex-army & police were involved to volunteer.
3. Translocation was another positive step.
    Example: 13 Rhinos (8 males,5 females) were translocated from Chitwan to Karnali river foodplains of Bardiya National Park.

References :
1. http://www.wwfnepal.org/media_room/news/?200112/Collective-conservation-efforts...
2. http://www.raonline.ch/pages/np/tour/np_rhino01a.html
3. http://pallavi-dhakal.blogspot.com/2013/09/nepals-feat-in-conservation-greater-one.html


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