Nepal | May 25, 2020

Conservation of one-horned rhinos a challenging task

Himalayan News Service
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One-horned rhino at Chitwan National Park

FILE: Tourists on a vehicle watch as a one-horned rhino crosses a trail in the Chitwan National Park on Friday, March 24, 2017. Photo: RSS

Chitwan, September 22

Though the population of rare one-horned rhinos has increased significantly over past years in Chitwan National Park, the protection of the rare wildlife species has remained a challenging job. As per the latest count conducted two years back, the national park has 605 one-horned rhinos.

Experts have identified climate change, increasing encroachment of forest areas, construction of roads and tracks traversing the park, poaching and increasing human-wildlife conflict as major challenges for protection of the rare species. “As rhinos live on river fronts, they may be directly affected by climate change,” said wildlife expert Dr Shantaraj Gyawali.

He also pointed out that the animal could face more challenges due to destruction of pastures caused by population explosion in the near future. “In such a case, we can some of the rhinos elsewhere where they can thrive and survive,” he reasoned.

Another wildlife expert Naresh Subedi identified poaching as a major challenge to the protection of the species. “If we are to see the data from the last 25 years, 45 per cent rhino were lost to poaching. This hints at how serious threat poaching could pose even in future,” he said. CNP Chief Conservation Officer Ramchandra Kandel conceded that wildlife species in the park were increasingly facing challenges in recent years.

A version of this article appears in print on September 23, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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