Conservation Issues

© WWF-India
For years, rhinos have been widely slaughtered for their horn, an ingredient in traditional Asian medicines. This, coupled with destruction of their habitat over the years, has brought rhinos to the brink of extinction.
The Indian rhino could once be found from Pakistan all the way through India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. By the turn of the century, this species had vanished from much of its range, and today only about 2,500 survive in India and Nepal.

Throughout their range, their habitat continues to dwindle fast as their grassland habitats are threatened by invasive species and weeds. The threat of poaching continues to be ever-present. Hence, there is a need to:
  • improve security in all rhino areas in India.
  • expand the distribution of rhinos to reduce risk of stochastic catastrophes.
  • prevent loss of prime habitats.
  • reduce poaching and wildlife trade.
  • provide support to the forest department to address challenges like lack of equipment, shortage of adequate finance and trained staff to implement conservation measures at the grassroots level.
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