Two female sub-adult greater one-horned rhino – mother and daughter – captured in the western range of Bagori in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park have been successfully translocated to Manas National Park on March 1st, 2020 under the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) programme.
Faguni (mother rhino) and Asha (daughter) were seen happily browsing at Manas soon they were released. With this, Manas is now home to 20 translocated rhinos.
The Assam Forest Department, the World Wide Fund for Nature India (WWF-India), International Rhino Foundation, and Bodoland Territorial Council implemented the IRV 2020 in collaboration with several national, international and local organisations for the conservation of rhinos.
The WWF-India stated that meticulous planning and precise execution involving more than 100 people is behind the successful translocation of the rhinos. “It is a big step towards building a viable population in Manas,” the WFF-India tweeted.
The WWF-India added that the wild-to-wild translocation help expand the range of rhino distribution and is vital towards protecting the rhino populations from natural calamities and epidemic diseases.
Of the estimated 3500 Indian rhinos left in the world, 82 per cent are found in India. Once found abundantly across the Indus, Ganges and the Brahmaputra river basins, the animal is facing several threats, including poaching, habitat loss and mass mortality from in-breeding and disease.
Launched in 2005, IRV 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 Assam by 2020.
Rhino translocations began in April 2008, and over the next 4 years, IRV 2020 moved 18 rhinos from Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park to Manas National Park. An additional eight rhinos were moved to Manas by the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.
In mid-2012, one of the females gave birth to the first calf born in Manas since rhino reintroductions began. Eleven more rhinos calves have been born in the park since then. Since that time, 14 calves have been born in the park.
Manas National Park is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. The park area falls in the following districts: Chirang, Baksa, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Udalguri and Bongaigaon in Assam.
Photo credit: @WWFINDIA