The World Rhino Day is celebrated Internationally on September 22, 2020. World Rhino Day is celebrated annually on September 22 by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and other international organizations.
i.Theme for World Rhino Day is “Five Rhino Species Forever”.
ii.The World Rhino Day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010.
World Rhino Day is recognized as a day of awareness for threats facing all five rhino species (Black, White, Greater one-horned (Indian), Sumatran and Javan Rhinos).
Rhinoceros in India:
India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world with a population of 3000 Rhinoceros in Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
National Conservation Strategy for Indian One-Horned Rhino:
i.The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched the National Conservation Strategy for Indian One-Horned Rhino in 2019.
ii.The conservation initiatives for Rhino will also enrich the grassland management and will help in reducing the negative effects of climate change through Carbon Sequestration.
iii.It was the first of its kind for species in India to work for the conservation of species under five objectives which include strengthening protection, expanding distribution range, research and monitoring, and adequate and sustained funding.
iv.The one horned rhino was close to extinction with a population of less than 200 in the beginning of the 20th Century.
v.Rhinos are the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered too vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s of Nature, IUCN Red list in 2008.
Indian Rhino Vision 2020:
i.It was launched in 2005 to attain a wild population of at least 3, 000 greater one-horned rhinos, spread over 7 protected areas in Assam by the year 2020.
ii.The seven protected areas in Assam are Kaziranga, Pobitora, Orang National Park, Manas National Park, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary
iii.An Collaborative effort between International Rhino Foundation, Assam’s Forest Department, Bodoland Territorial Council, World Wide Fund – India and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
DNA-Profiles of Rhinos:
i.In May, 2019, MoEFCC started a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in India.
ii.The project is expected to end in 2021, by which Indian rhino would be the first wild animal species in India to have all its member’s DNA-sequenced.
The project was supported by WWF-India and Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
iii.The DNA-sequencing will be useful in curbing poaching and for gathering evidence in wildlife crimes involving Rhinos.
Conservation status of Five Rhinoceros species:
The IUCN’s conservation status of the Five Rhino Species are
|Rhino Species||Conservation Status|
|Javan Rhino||Critically Endangered|
|Sumatran Rhino||Critically Endangered|
|Black Rhino||Critically Endangered|
|White Rhino||Near Threatened|
|Greater One-Horned Rhinos (Indian Rhino)||Vulnerable|
About World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF):
President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Carter Roberts
Headquarters – Gland, Switzerland