From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : DNA Database for Indian Rhino
Mains level : Conservation of Rhinos
- The Environment Ministry has embarked on a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
DNA Database of Indian Rhino
- By 2021, the Indian rhino could be the first wild animal species in India to have all its members DNA-sequenced.
- The project’s proponents include the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) and the Centre-funded Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
- The exercise would be useful in curbing poaching and gathering evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.
- There are about 2,600 rhinos in India, with over 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.
- Around 60 samples of tissue have been collected so far from some rhinos living outside Kaziranga.
About Indian Rhino
- The Indian rhinoceros also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros and great Indian rhinoceros is a rhinoceros native to the Indian subcontinent.
- It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as populations are fragmented and restricted to less than 20,000 km2 .
- It once ranged across the entire northern part of the Indian Subcontinent, along the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra River basins, from Pakistan to the Indian-Myanmar border.
- Poaching for rhinoceros horn became the single most important reason for the decline of the Indian rhino.