By Animesh Deb
THE Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros population is growing in India, in what could be termed as a bright spot in conservation efforts of the vulnerable species.In neighbouring Nepal too, their population is reported to be growing. In India and Nepal, the Greater One-Horned Rhino population, which once numbered as low as 100 in the early 1900s, has increased to more than 4,014 now. International Rhino Foundation (IRF), in its annual ‘State of the Rhino’ report for 2023 released two days ahead of World Rhino Day, attributed the rise in the One-Horned rhino population to strong protection, wildlife crime law enforcement and habitat expansion.
Since 2011, World Rhino Day has been celebrated internationally on September 22. The One-Horned rhino falls under the “vulnerable” category in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list. In India rhinos are found in Assam, parts of West Bengal and Bihar. Poaching of rhinos in Assam, which is home to the majority of the One-Horned rhino population in India, was in the past rampant but stringent surveillance and other elevated security arrangements being put in by the authorities seem to have addressing the issue.