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Collective efforts needed for rhino conservation

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

UJJAINI SHARMA

The World Rhino Day which brings together all the concerned individuals from every nook and corner of the world is now a global phenomenon as its has been successful in uniting NGOs, zoos, organizations related to rhino cause on a common platform to come out with some significant ways in finding better conservation ideas for fighting the mece of continual poaching of rhinos specially the one-horned rhinos.

The day started its first journey on September 17, 2011 when in Zimbabwe a lady med Lisa Jane Campbell from Chishakwe was searching for ideas on the internet to find some potential collaborators, when she luckily found the blog of Rhishja to whom she sent an email sharing her thought and no sooner they found that they shared a common goal of making World Rhino Day, a date to be celebrated for conserving all five species of rhinos that are falling prey to poaching. In the months that followed, they worked together to make World Rhino Day, 2011 an intertiol success, both online and offline.

World Rhino Day is being celebrated in our country too with special emphasis being given to its celebration in Assam’s Kaziranga tiol Park, which is the home of Indian One- Horned Rhinos, where rhinos are facing the threat of extinction in the wake of unstoppable poaching incidents. Now the big question that comes to our mind is whether celebrating a particular day would help us to resolve the big issue of incessant killings of rhino due to certain myths associated with rhino horns that it contains curative properties which may help to treat many diseases. These myths or folklore have led to the demand of rhino horns in some countries and due to such sky-rocketing demands of rhino horn in the global market, rhinos are being targeted with bullets and killed brutally. But due to the persistent endeavors of world organizations like World Wide Fund (WWF) India, better technical and ground support system to curb the mounting threats of poaching that casts a shadow over rhino conservation in recent times, has been initiated with the support of forest and state authorities to stop poachers from carrying out their deadly game of rhino hunting. Thus as part of their commitment to the conservation of India One- Horned Rhinos, WWF as part of their awareness plans, conducts various events like plays and workshops for school children and local communities on World Rhino Day, to spread the message of rhino conservation and even runs special online media campaign to reach out to people globally. They have even pledged to secure the future of these magnificent animals by adopting various policies with the help of Central and State governments and forest officials to increase coordition on information relating to poaching syndicates to eble better protection of Indian rhinos. Therefore, on the occasion of this day, that is, on September 17, WWF- India that acts as a catalyst in rebounding the population of rhinos, has urged upon the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to urgently adopt a tiol Rhino Conservation Plan for facilitation of rhino conservation.

The Greater one-horned rhinos which are still vulnerable to poaching and habitat loss, especially in Kaziranga tiol Park that hold 70 per cent of the world rhino population, have been taken under the umbrella of Indian Rhino Vision 2020, a project which was launched in 2005 to attain wild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over seven protected areas in Assam by 2020. To achieve this target the Intertiol Rhino Foundation (IRF) and partners of IRV 2020, will be developing the process of better protection of rhinos so that their existing population could be monitored better which also includes construction of guard posts, patrolling of roads and bridges for curbing the threats of poaching. To address the increasing threats of poaching that Indian rhinos are facing, the IRF has, in a move to conserve rhino population, entered into a partnership with the Assam Forest Department, the Bodoland Territorial Council, the World Wide Fund for ture (WWF) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to move rhinos from overcrowded areas, like Kaziranga tiol Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, to other protected areas where they can breed. Hope this move will help in spreading out Indian rhinos among more protected areas with continued strict protection and community engagement in order to create a larger, safer and more stable population. Thus, it may be recalled that celebration does not alone add up to the big task of saving the One-Horned Rhinos who are on the verge of extinction but collective efforts in the right direction should be the motto of one and all to spring back the dying population of rhinos. The alertness and vigil of the park officials together with the support of the government is the need of the hour to elimite the threat of poaching which stands as the greatest challenge as day-by-day rhinos are falling prey to inhuman activities.

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