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India has collaborated with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos.
- India and four rhino range nations recently signed the ‘New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ at the Second Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting, held at New Delhi.
- It was organised by the MoEFCC in collaboration with the IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak.
- The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future.
- A twelve-point strategic action plan was outlined.
- The declaration includes:
- undertaking studies on health issues of the rhinos;
- their potential diseases and taking necessary steps;
- collaborating and strengthening wildlife forensics for the purpose of investigation;
- Strengthening of transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal and Bhutan for the conservation and protection of the Greater one-horned rhino.
- Three species of Rhino – Black, Javan, and Sumatran are critically endangered.
- Recently Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, after the death of the last rhino in the country.
- It is the smallest of all rhino species.
- Now only about 80 of them are left in Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.
- A small population of Javan rhinos is found in only one national park on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Java.
- In Africa, Southern white rhinos, once thought to be extinct, now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are classified as near threatened.
- They are also known as the “Square-lipped rhino” (‘mowing-machines).
- Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African species.
- The greater one-horned rhinoceros is the largest of all rhino species (Habitat- India and Nepal).
- Successful conservation efforts have led to an increase in the number of Greater One-horned or Indian rhinos (around 3,700) and its IUCN status has improved from endangered to vulnerable.