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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

2,613 rhinos in Kaziranga; 200 more than 2018 census

A sample survey was conducted in 26 compartments that were randomly selected on March 28.

GUWAHATI:

There are 2,613 one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), the forest officials informed, on March 29.

“The rhino population in Kaziranga was 2,413 in 2018 when the last census was conducted. There is a rise of 200 rhinos in the national park, making the count to 2,613 in 2022,” Jatindra Sarma, KNPTR director, after the three-day census concluded on Tuesday.

On March 25, a training-cum-briefing was imparted to enumerators by the experts. “The actual counting of the rhino population was conducted on March 26-27. And a sample survey was conducted in 26 compartments that were randomly selected on March 28,” Sarma added.

In total, 64 enumerators, 12 independent observers, 49 media observers, including 252 frontline workers, took part in the entire exercise, with 50 elephants being deployed to cover 84 compartments spread over the national park, along with its additional and civil areas.

“GPS and binoculars were provided to the enumerators for better observation. For the first time, drone technology was also used for sample recheck. The computation of the data was carried out on March 28 by a committee notified by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force (HoFF),” Sarma stated.

The 2022 census has detailed the rhino population in different categories – 750 males and 903 females above six years, with the sex of 170 rhinos not yet ascertained; 116 males and 146 females under the sub-adult category, aged between three to six years; and 279 juvenile rhinos within the age group of one to three years. Given that Assam faces devastating floods, 400 rhinos died following the 2018 census.

Notably, the KNPTR, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses.

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