Two adult one-horned rhinos were translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).
Rhinoceros in India
- The population of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros reached to the brink of extinction by the end of the 20th century with fewer than 200 animals in wild.
- The Indian rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, but excessive hunting and agricultural development reduced its range drastically to 11 sites in northern India and southern Nepal.
- Nearly 85% of the global Indian rhinoceros population is concentrated in Assam, where Kaziranga National Park contains 70% of rhino population.
- Kaziranga National Park alone had an estimated population of more than 2,000 rhinos in 2009.
- Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam has the highest density of Indian rhinos in the world.
- Although poaching remains a continuous threat (more than 150 rhinos were killed in Assam by poachers between 2000 and 2006), their numbers have increased due to conservation measures taken by the government.
Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 programme
- The WHO-India launched Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 programme to protect and increase the population of the one-horned rhinoceros.
- It is an ambitious effort to attain a wild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over seven protected areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.
IVR 2020 is a partnership among:
- Government of Assam,
- International Rhino Foundation,
- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF),
- Bodoland Territorial Council, and
- U.S. Fish & World Wildlife foundation.
- Assam had at least five rhino-bearing areas till the 1980s. Better conservation efforts helped maintain the population of the one-horned herbivore in Kaziranga, Orang and Pobitora, but encroachment and poaching wiped the animal out of Manas and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The lesser-known Laokhowa slipped under the radar of international watchdogs.
- Manas, in focus for the near-extinction of the pygmy hog, lost the World Heritage Site tag it received in 1985 along with Kaziranga from the UNESCO.
- The translocated rhinos helped Manas National Park get back its World Heritage Site status in 2011.