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India’s Assam State Endeavors to Halt Rhino Poaching

Kaziranga National Park is home to the world's largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species

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Rhinoceros Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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The newly elected government of the northeast Indian state of Assam has launched plans to crack down on the poaching of the area’s famed one-horned rhinos.

The state’s Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species. While overall poaching deaths have dropped over the last few years, a series of rhino killings this year has led the new government to renew anti-poaching efforts.

The state’s new environment minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, said Saturday that local police have been asked to join the offensive against poaching. Previously, Kaziranga’s forest rangers and anti-poaching staff handled this responsibility on their own.

Brahma said allegations that some park staff may be involved in the trade in rhino parts were also being investigated.

On Tuesday, as Brahma and other officials visited Kaziranga to discuss the threat of poaching, a female rhino was shot dead by poachers in the vicinity.

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In April, poachers killed a rhino at the 480-square-kilometer (185-square-mile) park hours after a visit by Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate.

The royal couple had spent several hours at Kaziranga in hopes of drawing attention to the plight of endangered animals, including the park’s one-horned rhinos.

All five of the world’s rhino species are under constant threat from poachers seeking their horns to sell on the black market. Demand is high in countries such as China and Vietnam, where people mistakenly believe consuming rhino horns can increase male potency. It does not.

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This year, eight rhinos in Kaziranga have been killed for their horns, after 17 were poached in 2015.

Despite the threats, Kaziranga is a conservation success story. The reserve had 75 rhinos in 1905. In 1966, the number of rhinos in Kaziranga was put at 366. According to a 2015 estimate, the number has risen to 2,401. (Source: VOA)

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  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

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  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

Next Story

60 Percent Wildlife Lost In Just Four Decades: Report

The WWF is calling for an international treaty to protect wildlife,

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A herd of elephants form a protective circle against a perceived threat, just after one was shot with a tranquilizer dart during an operation to attach GPS tracking collars in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. VOA

A new report says the world lost a staggering 60 percent of its wildlife populations over a period of four decades.

In its 2018 Living Planet Report, the World Wildlife Fund cites deforestation, climate change and a rise in pollution for the decline among 16,700 populations between 1970 and 2014.

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Marine animals are more vulnerable to man-made pesticides. Flickr

The report says that half of the world’s shallow-water corals have been wiped out over the last 30 years; ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania by more than 60 percent between 2009 and 2014, and 100,000 orangutans in Borneo died between 1999 and 2015 due to deforestation.

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Fatu and Najin, left, the only two female northern white rhinos left in the world, graze where they are kept for observation, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya, March 2, 2018. VOA

The WWF also predicts the number of polar bears will be reduced by 30 percent by 2050 as climate change melts the Arctic ice.

Also Read: World Hunger To Rise Due To Climate Change: WFP

“It’s mind-blowing,” says WWF Director-General Marco Lambertini, describing the crisis as “unprecedented in its speed, in its scale, and because it is single-handed.” The group is calling for an international treaty to protect wildlife, but says it must be enacted within two years to actually make a difference, due to the fast pace of destruction. (VOA)