PM lauds Assam’s efforts in protecting Rhino

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PM lauds Assam’s efforts in protecting Rhino

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the efforts of the Assam team in protecting the pride of India- Indian Rhinos.
  • This came a day after Assam Chief Minister put a stockpile of horns of single-horned rhinos to fire.
  • Initiatives have been undertaken by the State Governments like Assam, West Bengal and Bihar that are working for the reintroduction of the rhinoceros in the areas which used to hold the Rhino populations till a few decades back.

Rhinos: Pride of India

  • The one-horned rhino is a symbol of India’s prized heritage and identity.
  • The Indian rhino is the largest of the rhino species.
  • The greater one-horned rhinoceros is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armor-plated appearance.
  • Their diet mostly consists of grasses, leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.

Population of Rhinos in India

  • The hunting of rhinos pushed the rhinos population to a vulnerable stage.
  • By the start of the 20th century, around 200 wild one-horned rhinos remained.
  • However, timely conservation efforts, strict protection, and management efforts of the Government of India and State Government led to the recovery of species.
  • Approximately 75% of the entire population of greater one-horned rhinoceros are found in India in the three States viz, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
  • Further, State Governments periodically conduct the census of rhinoceros at the State-level.

Population of Rhinos in Assam

  • Assam is home to the largest population of one-horned rhino in India.
  • As of 2017, the Kaziranga National Park houses 2,401 Rhinoceros, the largest population of one-horned rhinoceros in the world which constitutes about 68% of the entire world population of one-horned rhinoceros.
  • In addition to Assam, the Indian rhinos can be found in Jaldapara National Park and Gorumara National Park in West Bengal, Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh, etc.

Conservation efforts

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change launched the “National Conservation Strategy for the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros” with the goal to repopulate the rhinoceros population.
  • The programme has also been implemented in areas that held the rhinoceros earlier by augmenting the existing conservation efforts and strengthening them through scientific and administrative measures.
  • One-horned rhinoceros is among the 21 species identified for the Recovery programme for critically endangered species by the Ministry.
  • The Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 programme implemented in Assam helped in restocking the rhino population.