World Rhino Day
Part of: Prelims and GS III – Conservation
Context World Rhino Day is observed on 22th September to spread awareness for all five species of rhino and work being done to save them.
- It was first announced by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – South Africa in 2010.
- The species of rhinoceros are on the verge of extinction due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over several decades.
- Theme 2021: Keep the five Alive.
- Objectives: Strengthening protection, Expanding the distribution range, Research and monitoring, Adequate and sustained funding.
About the species of Rhino
- There are five species of rhino – white and black rhinos in Africa, and the greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhino species in Asia.
- IUCN Red List Status:
- White Rhino: Near Threatened.
- Black Rhino: Critically endangered.
- Greater One Horned: Vulnerable.
- Javan: Critically Endangered
- Sumatran Rhino: Critically Endangered
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros
- Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species.
- India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world. At present, there are about 2,600 Indian rhinos in India, with more than 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.
- Habitat: The species is restricted to small habitats in Indo-Nepal terai and northern West Bengal and Assam.
- In India, rhinos are mainly found in Kaziranga NP, Pobitora WLS, Orang NP, Manas NP in Assam, Jaldapara NP and Gorumara NP in West Bengal and Dudhwa TR in Uttar Pradesh.
- Poaching for the horns
- Habitat loss
- Population density
- Decreasing Genetic diversity
- Protection Status:
- IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
- CITES: Appendix-I
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
Conservation Efforts by India:
- New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos: India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia have signed a declaration for the conservation and protection of the species.
- DNA profiles of all rhinos: It will help in curbing poaching and gathering evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.
- National Rhino Conservation Strategy: It was launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.
- Indian Rhino Vision 2020: 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 2020.