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Fresh plan to conserve rhinos in Assam (India)

By February 25, 2020Conservation, Translocation
The Telegraph India | February 25, 2020

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A new rhino programme, Beyond 2020, is being planned in synergy with the National Rhino Conservation Strategy for India.

A source said the programme is being designed and will start once the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 project ends in the middle of this year.

The IRV 2020 is a joint programme of the Assam department of environment and forests, WWF-India and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) with support from the Bodoland Territorial Council, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the local communities.

The programme vision is to increase Assam’s rhino population to 3,000 by 2020 by wild-to-wild translocation from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora wildlife sanctuary to Manas and Dibru Saikhowa National Parks as well as to Laokhowa and Burachopari wildlife sanctuaries.

The last translocation under IRV 2020 will be of two rhinos from Kaziranga to Manas. The rhinos will be captured from Kaziranga on February 29 and released in Manas on March 1, it was decided at a meeting on Monday, the source said adding that the target was to translocate 20 rhinos to Manas under IRV 2020, of which 18 have been sent. “Manas now has more than 40 rhinos which is a good population compared to some years back,” he added.

“The Assam government, WWF-India and the IRF will be there in the new programme too. A few more partners may come later,” the source said.

The National Rhino Conservation Strategy for India, launched in 2019, calls for active engagement between India and Nepal to conserve the greater one-horned rhino.

A forest department official said they have received a report of a rhino being injured at Kuklung in Manas. “It is being treated,” he said.