Last two rhinos translocated under IRV 2020

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Context

The Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) came to a close with the release of two rhinos - an adult male and a female - in Assam’s Manas National Park transported from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary about 185 km east.

Details of The eighth round of rhino translocation

  • Designed in 2005, the IRV2020 is believed to have achieved its target of attaining a population of 3,000 rhinos in Assam.
  •  But the plan to spread the Rhinoceros unicornis across four protected areas beyond Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and Pobitora could not materialise.
  • The eighth round of rhino translocation under IRV 2020 ended on April 13 with the release of the two rhinos in the central part of the Bansbari range of Manas, which has received a total of 22 rhinos from other protected areas under the translocation programme.
  •  The ears of the translocated rhinos have been notched according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature‟s Species Survival Commission and Asian Rhino Specialist Group's guidelines for identification and monitoring.
  •  A special team has been tasked with monitoring the rhinos as per the translocation protocols for Assam.

Indian Rhino Vision 2020

  •  Launched in 2005, Indian Rhino Vision 2020 is an ambitious effort to attain a wild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over seven protected areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.
  •  Seven protected areas are Kaziranga, Pobitora, Orang National Park, Manas National Park, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary.
  •  It is a collaborative effort between various organisations, including the International Rhino Foundation, Assam‟s Forest Department, Bodoland Territorial Council, World Wide Fund - India, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

DNA Database for Indian Rhinos

  •  In 2019, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
  •  The project is a subset of the Centre‟s larger, ongoing rhino conservation programme.
  •  By 2021, the project‟s deadline, the Indian rhino could be the first wild animal species in India to have all its members DNA-sequenced.
  •  The project will help in curbing poaching and gathering evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.
  • The database will be hosted in the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) headquarters in Dehradun.

National Rhino Conservation Strategy

  •  It calls for active engagement between India and Nepal to conserve the Greater one-horned rhinoceros.
  •  The plan said the single population of rhinos in Sukla-Phanta (Nepal), Valmiki Tiger Reserve (India) and Chitwan National Park (Nepal) and Dudhwa (India) is separated by the political boundary between the two countries.
  •  It asks for the management of the two population under the same protocol, instead of managing the two population separately.
  •  The plan calls for expanding distribution range as the occurrence of 90% of the rhino in one protected area is a cause of concern and conservation of existing and potential rhino habitats need to be made a national priority.

Greater One-Horned Rhino

  • There are three species of rhino in Asia - Greater one-horned (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan and Sumatran.
  •  Poaching for the horns and habitat loss are the two greatest threats to the survival of Asia's rhinos.
  •  The five rhino range nations (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia) have signed a declaration,The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019‟ for the conservation and protection of the species.
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 Protection Status:

  1.  Javan and Sumatran Rhino are critically endangered and the Greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino is vulnerable in IUCN Red List.
  2. All three listed under Appendix I (CITES).
  3. Greater one-horned rhino is listed under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.

Habitat of Greater One-Horned Rhino:

● 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 and Dudhwa TR in Uttar Pradesh.

 

SOURCE : THE HINDU 

 

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