Recently the State Government of Uttarakhand (State Wildlife Board) has decided to re-introduce Rhinoceros in Corbett Tiger Reserve to increase the diversity of fauna in both the protected areas of the state
- Around 10 rhinos will be brought in CTR in the first phase and subsequently, 10 more would be added
- The geographical terrain and environmental conditions in CTR are suitable for rhinos.
- The ideal sites chosen in Corbett are valley habitats bounded on either side by the lower Himalayas (north), Shivalik Hills (south) or the Ramganga Reservoir (east), which would also act as natural barriers to rhino movement outside these areas, thereby minimizing conflict with people.
Significance of the move
- There is minimum possibility of man-animal conflicts due to rhinos and its presence can also help other animals at the reserve
- reintroduction of rhinos at the reserve will also give a boost to tourism in the state
- According to wildlife experts, rhinos reduce the size of elephant grass by eating it. This would mean that species that thrive on lower-height grass — Hog Deer, Cheetal, Sambar and Swamp Deer, among others — would also be encouraged.
A brief note on Indian Rhinoceros
- The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armor-plated appearance.
- The greater one-horned rhino (or “Indian rhino”) is the largest of the rhino species.
- Once widespread across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent, rhino populations plummeted as they were hunted for sport or killed as agricultural pests.
- This pushed the rhinos to near extinction in the 20th century
- The recovery of the greater one-horned rhino is among the greatest conservation success stories in Asia.
- Today populations have increased to around 3,500 rhinos in northeastern India and the Terai grasslands of Nepal.
Indian Rhino Vision 2020
- Launched by the Assam Forest Department in partnership with WWF-India in 2005, Indian Rhino Vision 2020 is an ambitious effort to attain a wild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over seven protected areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.
- The programme aims at increasing the number and range of rhinos in Assam through wild-to-wild translocations from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to potential Protected Areas including Manas National Park, Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.