Rhino census has begun from Pratappur of Parsa National Park, on Monday.

Minister for Forests and Environment Prem Bahadur Ale inaugurated the campaign today. The Chitwan National Park and Parsa National Park will act as a single entity for the counting.

National Planning Commission member Krishna Prasad Oli, Forest Ministry's secretary Dr Bishwanath Oli, director general of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Deepak Kharal, managing director of Department of Forests Man Bahadur Khadka, and chiefs from different donor agencies, among others, were present at the campaign launch event.

With the commencement of the counting, a formal inauguration programme was held in Sauraha.

According to CNP chief conservation officer Ananath Baral, 200 people, with the aid of 40 elephants, have been mobilised to conduct the counting. There are 40 main enumerators and 20 alternative enumerators for the campaign. Prior to this, the human force assigned for the counting were given an orientation on March 19 and 20 in Sauraha.

According to the chief of National Trust for Nature Conservation, Sauraha, Dr Baburam Lamichhane, it will take around 30 days to complete the rhino counting in the two national parks.

The latest 2015 rhino census puts the total number of rhinos at 654, including 605 in Chitwan, 29 in Bardiya, eight in Shuklaphanta, and three in Parsa.