Rhino reintroduction a hit in Assam reserve
- Manas National Park rhinos need translocation support: The 14th Assam rhino estimation census.
Key highlights of The Census:
- The one-horned rhinos of western Assam’s Manas National Park, bordering Bhutan, are expected to have high life expectancy and significant growth in population.
- But the 500-sq.-km park does not have a wider representation of calves and subadults to sustain the population structure unless conservation translocations.
- Manas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tiger reserve, had about 100 resident rhinos prior to 1990,
- but a prolonged ethno-political conflict thereafter took a heavy toll with extremist groups known to have traded the horns of the herbivores for weapons.
- A rhino reintroduction programme under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was started in 2006.
- translocation of rhinos from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary besides orphans hand-reared at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation at Kaziranga.
- The current rhino population in the park was estimated at 40 after the census on April 1 and 2.
Safety of rhinos:
- The Kaziranga National Park authorities have restricted the speed of vehicles on the highway adjoining the park to 40 km/h.
- annual step taken to prevent vehicles from hitting animals
- Six sensor based cameras with an automatic number plate recognising system have been installed to measure the speed of vehicles and impose fines on those who violate the order.
- As per the orders of the National Green Tribunal, owners of vehicles that do not adhere to the speed limit will be penalized.
- National Green Tribunal
- Kaziranga National Park
- Manas National Park
- UNESCO World Heritage Site