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Greater One-Horned Rhino

  • 19 Feb 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, a case of poaching of the world-famous one-horned rhino has been suspected inside the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

What are the Key Points related to One-Horned Rhino?

  • About:
    • There are five species of rhinowhite and black rhinos in Africa, and the greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhino species in Asia. 
      • IUCN Red List Status:
        • Black Rhino: Critically endangered. Smaller of the two African species.
        • White Rhino: Near Threatened. Researchers have created an embryo of the northern white rhino by using In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process.
        • One-Horned Rhino: Vulnerable
        • Javan: Critically Endangered
        • Sumatran Rhino: Critically Endangered. It has gone extinct in Malaysia.
    • Only the Great One-Horned Rhino is found in India.
    • Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species.
    • It is identified by a single black horn and a grey-brown hide with skin folds.
    • They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.
  • Habitat:
    • The species is restricted to small habitats in Indo-Nepal terai and northern West Bengal and Assam.
    • In India, rhinos are mainly found in Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Assam has an estimated 2,640 rhinos in four protected areas, i.e. Pabitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and Manas National Park.
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
    • CITES: Appendix I (Threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research).
    • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
  • Threats:
    • Poaching for the horns
    • Habitat loss
    • Population density
    • Decreasing Genetic diversity.

What are the Conservation Efforts?

  • 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.
  • Recently, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
  • National Rhino Conservation Strategy: It was launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.
  • Indian Rhino Vision 2020: Launched in 2005, it was 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.

Source: IE

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