Tuesday 13 April 2021

BBC: Nepal rhino numbers rise in 'exciting' milestone


Two greater one-horned rhinos pictured grazingIMAGE COPYRIGHTISHWOR JOSHI
image captionGreater one-horned rhinos are counted every five years in Nepal - and the latest census held some good news

The number of one-horned rhinos in Nepal's wildlife sanctuaries has increased by more than a hundred, marking a positive milestone in the Himalayan nation's conservation efforts.

According to the results of the latest census, Nepal's rhino population has risen to 752, from 645 in 2015.

Nepal is among only a few countries where greater one-horned rhinos are found. The animal was close to extinction in the last century, and its revival in Nepal and India is regarded as one of the greatest conservation success stories in Asia.

"We are very excited by the rhino survey's findings. After the tigers, now the rhino population has also gone up," Haribhadra Acharya, a senior official at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told the BBC.

Of the total number of rhinos, more than 90% live in the Chitwan National Park, which is also home to tigers, elephants, leopards and Gangetic gharials (fish-eating crocodiles).

Following the population increase in recent decades, the rhino's status has improved from endangered to vulnerable.

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