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IRV 2020 to protect Vulnerable Rhinos

Mar 27, 2014 15:45 IST

IRV2020 - Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020
IRV 2020 programme has been launched by WHO-India, with an aim to protect and increase the population of the one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). The goal of the programme is to attain their wild population to at least 3000 in the Indian state of Assam by 2020. Rhinos are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.

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Assam has been chosen for the programme because this state has the maximum population of rhinos and they are spread across seven protected areas. To achieve the targeted number, the programme needs an increase by 600 over the existing population available in the state in next eight years. This means an annual increase of about 3 percent.

Under the programme, the horns of rhinos will be trimmed before their translocation to Laokhowa-Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaon district of the state. The trimming will be done in a way that any damage is not done to their internal organs and the trimmed horns will grow back to their original shape within four to five months. This action of trimming will also protect them from the poachers, who hunt them just to take away their horns.  

This is a partnership programme of the Assam Forest Department, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Rhinoceros and its habitats in the past
Rhinoceros existed in its maximum number in entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent including Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus river basins across Pakistan to Indian-Burmese border. Till 1600 the Indian rhinos were present commonly across the northwestern India and Pakistan but disappeared slowly. During the 20th century its population decreased to a number of extinction.

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Comment: It’s expected that this programme will help in increasing the population of rhinos and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

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