Chitwan, March 24
Owing to safe habitat and congenial climatic conditions, Chitwan National Park has recorded a rise in the number of the rare one-horned rhinoceros in the area.
The national park has noted that the total number of the one-horned rhino, which was once as low as 100, now stands at 600.
The population of the species was around 800 in the region, before the national park was set up in 1950. It came down to 100 in 1966 and rose up in 1978 to 310. According to Nurendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer of the park, there were 358 rhinos in the first census in 1988. The number reached 446 in 1998 and 544 in 2000. The population later declined to 372 in 2005. There were 408 rhinos in 2008, 503 in 2011 and 605 in 2015.
Ram Chandra Kandel, conservation officer at Chitwan National Park, said the number of the rare species was increasing significantly over the years due to a combination of different habitats and atmosphere. “Different habitats, hygienic drinking water, open meadows and grassy land have definitely contributed to protecting the species,” Kandel said.
As per Dr Naresh Subedi, a conservationist, the number of rhinos has improved remarkably due to the grassy land expansion on the banks of Rapti, Narayani and Riu rivers.
A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.