109 one-horned rhinos relocated, 26 gifted to different countries in 38 years «

109 one-horned rhinos relocated, 26 gifted to different countries in 38 years

Kathmandu- Most of the population of rare one-horned rhino is found in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) and it has become the best place for their habitat. There are 694 one-horned rhinos in the CNP. The CNP covers total 952.63 square meters area. According to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, 102 rhinos were relocated to Bardiya National Park, Shuklaphanta National Park and Koshitappu Wildlife Reserve from CNP from 1986-2023 with an objective of establish a new breeding group.

Similarly, internal translocation of additional seven rhinos was made in the CNP as well as relocated to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in this March, shared Department’s information officer and senior ecologist, Shyam Kumar Shah. He mentioned that 26 rhinos were gifted to different countries during the period. Nepal for the first time had gifted four rhinos to India’s Dudhwa National Park in 1985. As per Department’s record, it had gifted 22 rhinos to the United States of America, Germany, Singapore, Bangladesh, UK, Japan, Austria and China in different time period till 2018.

According to the CNP, the rhinos were translocated internally to CNP and shifted to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in recent period after the growth rate of the rhinos found decreased following their increasing density of rhinos at western area of the CNP based on feasibility study of internal translocation. Based on the feasibility study, a secretary-level decision of the Ministry of Forest and Environment held on February 7, six rhinos were shifted to eastern area from western area of the CNP from March 15.

The Department has set a goal of developing ‘Rhino Century’ at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. As per the goal, two female rhinos (Pushpa and Anjali) were relocated to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve from CNP on September 27, 2023, on the occasion of World Tourism Day. The number of one-horned rhinoceros in the world is 4,000. The one-horned rhinoceros that roams in the basin of the Brahmaputra, Indus and Ganges rivers in the northern region of the Indian continent is now limited to the Terai region of Nepal and the protected area of India only. There are about 4,000 one-horned rhinos in the world.

According to the 2022 national rhino census in Nepal, there are 694 one-horned rhinos in Chitwan National Park, 38 in Bardiya National Park, 17 in Shuklaphanta National Park and three in Parsa National Park. With it, a total number of the one-horned rhinos is 752 in Nepal. This species is included in sensitive category of AYUCN, Schedule 1 of CITES and Schedule 1 (Protected Wildlife) of Nepal’s National Parks and Wildlife Protection Act, 2029. Dil Bahadur Purja Pun, senior conservation officer of Chitwan National Park, said the main challenges for the protection of rhinoceros are poaching, habitat destruction and degradation, and the impact of climate change.

According to him, only in the financial year 2079-80 BS, 26 rhinos died due to various causes. Out of them, 22 rhinoceros died due to natural causes, poaching and electrocution, he informed. Similarly, Ganesh Prasad Tiwari, information officer of CNP, informed the Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) that 19 rhinos died till 21st Chait (April 3) of the current year.

Among them, 15 rhinoceros died due to natural causes (due to old age, illness, tiger attack), three due to poaching and one due to other reasons. Listed in the World Heritage List, this park is home to rare wildlife including the one-horned rhinoceros, royal Bengal tiger, gaur, wild elephants and Alligator crocodiles. Rich in biological diversity, the park is spread over four districts namely Chitwan, Parsa, Makawanpur and Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta Purva). It is the first park of Nepal which is the main habitat of rare one-horned rhinoceros and Royal Bengal Tiger. This park was established on September 20, 1973.