Rhino population rises in Kaziranga: Census

Kaziranga (Assam): Notwithstanding many poaching cases in the Kaziranga National Park, the rhino population in the world heritage site has seen a rise as per the latest census which ended today.

There was an addition of 39 One-horned Great Indian Rhinoceros to the previous census figure of 2,290, official sources said.

Since the census operation started in the KNP on March 24, the park authorities said they had counted 645 adult males and 684 adult females besides sub-adults and cubs.

The park was closed to visitors for the duration of the counting which was conducted by over 250 staff with 50 elephants covering all the 81 blocks of the KNP's five ranges of Burapahar, Bagori, Kohora, Agratoli and Uttarpara, the authorities said.

The census, conducted every two years, this time had officials from the state forest department, forest guards battalions, besides NGOs and media groups.

The headcount of rhinos in Kaziranga has been a regular practice and is conducted to implement a fruitful conservation method.

Last year, Kaziranga lost more than 20 rhinos in poacher attacks and 14 so far this year.

According to the last census, the rhino population in Kaziranga was 2,290. In 1999, the figure was 1,672, which increased to 2,048 in 2009.