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.
- 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.
- 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.