Rhino population is marginally up in Assam's Kaziranga National Park

In the last census conducted in 2015, the herbivore's population in the park was 2,401. So, it has been an increase of 12. 

Published: 31st March 2018 12:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2018 12:59 AM   |  A+A-

Tourists on an elephant watch a one-horned rhinoceros inside the Kaziranga national park. (File | AP)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The rhino population at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam is estimated to be 2,413, a two-day census carried out on March 27-28 has revealed.

In the last census conducted in 2015, the herbivore's population in the park was 2,401. So, it has been an increase of 12. 

“Following the latest count, the rhino population in Kaziranga is estimated to be 2,413. Given various factors, this is plus or minus 100,” Assam's Chief Wildlife Warden, NK Vasu, told The New Indian Express.

The grass in the park is burnt every year for renewal of the low-lying vegetation. The sighting of perceived fewer rhinos in the latest count is being attributed to poor burning of grasses and reeds.

Only around 20 per cent of the grasses and reeds could be burned while the plan was to cover 60-70 per cent of it. There is a suspicion that many rhinos were inside thick and inaccessible jungles and they got left out of the count. At the same time, there is also a perception of some animals being counted more than once.

According to latest estimates, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has 1,641 adult rhinos. Of them, 642 are males, 793 females and 206 "un-sexed" (their gender is yet to be determined). 

The population of sub-adult rhinos (aged between four and six years) was estimated to be 387. Of them, 116 were males, 149 females and 122 un-sexed. Calves were estimated to be 385.

Assam has an estimated 2,645 rhinos. The 434 sq km Kaziranga National Park has the highest number of the animal in the state. The Manas National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have around 100 rhinos each while the Orang National Park has around 30 rhinos.

Despite various security measures, a number of rhinos fall prey to the bullets of poachers, particularly at Kaziranga, every year. Scores others die in the annual floods.

The police claim the poachers include a section of the militants. The rhino horn is often smuggled into the South East Asian countries via Nagaland and Manipur. In the neighbouring countries, the rhino horn is considered an aphrodisiac, both for men and women. A horn could fetch Rs.1 crore from the international black market.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp