Successful translocation of two wild rhinos to strengthen population in Manas
Manas National Park: Two adult greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), a female and a male, were translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park in Assam today. The translocation took place under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) programme, an initiative led by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, in partnership with WWF India, International Rhino Foundation, and several other organizations including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, WTI, Aaranyak, and College of Veterinary Sciences, Guwahati with support from the Bodoland Territorial Council, and local communities.
The two rhinos were transported to the release site at Bansbari range, Manas National Park after covering a distance of 181km from Pobitora. The rhinos were captured from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and were transported under the careful supervision of experienced veterinarians and rhino experts as per existing protocols.
The translocation was organised a year after two sub-adult rhinos were translocated from the Bagori range of Kaziranga National Park to Manas National Park in March 2020. The translocation of rhinos to Manas National Park is an important conservation measure to help conserve the species.
Speaking on the significance of the rhino translocation, Dr. Dipankar Ghose, Director of WWF India’s Wildlife and Habitats programme said, “The IRV2020 programme of the Assam Government and partners is considered as one of the biggest conservation successes in the region, which helped in bringing back rhinos to Manas National Park. The efforts of the Assam Forest Department, several NGO partners, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bodoland Territorial Council, and local communities are commendable.”
The translocation was carried out over two days by a team of over 200 people from different agencies and organisations. With this last leg of wild-to-wild translocation under IRV2020, a total of 22 rhinos have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (12) and Kaziranga National Park (10) to Manas National Park. Rehabilitated rhinos were also introduced in Manas by partner organisations. Currently, Manas has more than 40 rhinos.
The two rhinos are being monitored closely by a dedicated team in Manas comprised of personnel from the Assam Forest Department and WWF India. The monitoring will continue for a year to understand the adaptation of the rhinos in their new habitats.
WWF-India is one of the largest conservation organizations in the country, engaged in wildlife and nature conservation. It has experience of over four decades in the field and has made its presence felt through a sustained effort not only towards nature and wildlife conservation but also through sensitizing people by creating awareness through capacity building and enviro-legal support. The key areas of the work of WWF-India include conservation of key wildlife species and their habitats, management of rivers, wetlands, and their eco-systems, promoting sustainable livelihoods, environment education and awareness activities within a variety of social structures, mitigating the impacts of climate change, transforming businesses and markets towards sustainability and combating illegal wildlife trade.
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