Felix announced, “I have excellent news and we must go to Assam, a state in India to celebrate!”
“What is the news?” said Verum looking up from her trusty crystal ball.
“Have you heard of an animal called the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros?” said Felix, “Its population has reached a record high!”
“All I know is that it’s a species of rhinoceros,” said Verum, “Could you tell me more?”
“Also known as the Indian rhino, this species is identified by its one black horn. It has greyish-brown and folded skin,” said Felix, “Originally, it used to be found across the northern part of the Indian subcontinent but the population really dwindled.
These rhinos were hunted for sport and treated as agricultural pests as their diet was mostly grass and leaves. They nearly became extinct in the 20th Century. They were now mostly just found in Assam, a north-eastern state in India and Nepal. So, both countries’ regional and national governments began putting strict conservation and protection measures in place.”
“What were these measures? And did they help?” said Verum.
“Kaziranga National Park is where the largest greater one-horned rhino population is found. The Government of Assam doubled the area covered by this national park from 430 square kilometers to 1,040 square kilometers,” said Felix, “This gave the rhinos the space they need to breed and have babies which increases their population.
Along with this, strict measures were taken against the illegal poaching (killing) of these rhinos. The Government of Nepal has also been undertaking similar measures.
Recently, the Government of Assam completed its twice-a-year rhino census. They found out that the rhino population has increased by 274 from the last count. This means the total population of the greater one-horned rhinos is 4,014 individuals. It was just 100 about 50 years ago.”
“Wow, this is a conservation success story!” said Verum.