Rhinos arrive at Manas National Park in India
Two female greater one-horned rhinos arrived at Manas National Park in Assam in India this week.
The rhinos were transported from Kazaringa National Park in India, about a six and a half hour journey, under the supervision of the Translocation Core Committee.
The two females increase the population of greater one-horned rhinos in Manas with 40 rhinos now roaming the park.
A press statement revealed this was the 7th translocation under the guidance of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 program (IRV2020), which established an initial population of 18 in 2009.
IRV2020 is a joint programme of the Assam Forest Department, World Wildlife Fund India, Bodoland Territorial Council and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) with support from many other organisations.
The programme was cited as a key factor for Manas regaining its Unesco World Heritage Site recognition in 2011.
CeCe Sieffert, acting executive director of IRF said: "IRV2020 has consistently demonstrated the vision and cooperation of local and national government, wildlife conservation organizations and on-the-ground partners working together to recover habitats and protect rhinos so that they can thrive in the wild.”
The translocated female rhinos increase the genetic diversity of the Manas population, achieving the goal of a natural and healthy breeding program for the future of the species.
Both rhinos were ear notched as per IUCN/SSC Asian Rhino Specialist guidelines for identification and monitoring. A special team was established in Manas to provide regular monitoring of the rhinos in the park.
“These efforts demonstrate that rhinos can recover on their own if they are given adequate space and are free from the outside pressures of poaching and habitat loss,” said Sieffert.
Two more translocations are planned for this year as part of IRV2020. Building on the success of this 15-year programme, partners will gather in the coming months to evaluate the completed plan and determine the next steps to ensure the survival of the greater one-horned rhino in India and Nepal.