Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Rhinos without borders is conservation credo


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian Rhino

Mains level: Wildlife conservation efforts


  • International boundaries will not come in the way of conservation of rhinos, said representatives of Asian countries where the one-horned herbivore thrives.

New Delhi Declaration

  • The Declaration was recently adopted at the second meeting of the Asian rhino range countries.
  • It underscored trans-boundary collaboration among India, Nepal, and Bhutan for the conservation and protection of the greater one-horned rhino.

Rhinos without Borders

  • There are no rhinos in Bhutan, but some from the Manas National Park in adjoining Assam or Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal are known to cross over occasionally.
  • In Feb, the National Rhino Conservation Strategy for India called for active engagement between India and Nepal to protect the species.
  • The plan said the single population of rhinos in Sukla-Phanta (Nepal), Valmiki Tiger Reserve (India) and Chitwan National Park (Nepal) and Dudhwa (India) is separated by the political boundary between the two countries.

Why such move?

  • Once ranging from China to Bangladesh, the Javan and Sumatran rhinos are nearing extinction.
  • Indonesia and Malaysia are the other Asian countries where the last of the rhinos live.
  • The current global population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros is 3,584.
  • Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has the bulk of 2,938 rhinos in India while Nepal 646.

Almost extinct

  • The Sumatran rhino, the smallest of all rhino species and the only Asian rhino with two horns, became extinct in the wild in Malaysia.
  • There is only one found now in the Sabah island of Malaysia while Indonesia has a few.


India Rhinos

  • The greater one-horned rhinoceros or the 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 (7,700 sq mi).
  • It is found in the Terai grasslands of southern Nepal, northern Uttar Pradesh, northern Bihar, northern West Bengal, and in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam.
  • As of 2008, a total of 2,575 mature individuals were estimated to live in the wild.
  • Kaziranga had less than 10 rhinos when it was declared a protected area for the animal in 1905.
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