Focus on grassland to prevent rhino deaths

Chitwan, February 21

Chitwan National Park has laid special emphasis on the management of grassland as a measure to prevent growing natural deaths of one-horned rhinos.

CNP Chief Conservation Officer Narayan Rupakheti said the national park would be managing grass in over 600 hectares land in the current fiscal. He added CNP had appropriated a budget of Rs 35 million putting high emphasis on the management of grassland. Of the total budget, CNP had allocated Rs 30 million to manage new grassland  and Rs 5 million for existing grassland.

The contractor company has accepted a contract of Rs 18.7 million to carry out all the works and it will be initiated in some days, said CNP’s Assistant Conservation Officer Prakash Uprety. Grass is being managed for rhino in 55 new and 15 old areas.

It is estimated that 10 per cent of the area in Chitwan National Park is grassland. Last year, a budget of Rs 1.9 million was allocated for the management of grassland.

The budget will be used to manage the land from this year by using necessary equipment and instruments. Chitwan National Park is preparing to manage new grassland in 1,500 hectares in coming three years.

Likewise, it has floated a plan to carry out necessary maintenance and construction of 49 ponds in the current fiscal. With growing death tolls of the endangered animals due to natural reasons, the CNP has given special emphasis on managing grass and water to protect one-horned rhinos.