Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

Rhinos are Dying. Why?

The increase in rhino deaths due to natural reasons has been a matter of huge concern in the conservation field

Photo by: Sagar Giri

As of mid-June, 26 rhinos have died due to natural causes in Chitwan National Park and the national forest area of ​​the region.

Among all the dead extent unicorn, 24 died in the national park area and two in the forest area. In the same period of the last fiscal year, 43 rhinos,  26 rhinos were dead in the fiscal 2074/75, and 25 in the fiscal 2073/74 had died in the park and national forest areas. The number of death seems to be decreasing but the causes of death and preventive measure to save vulnerable species are yet to be explored.

Rhino in Local Town. Photo by Sagar Giri

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has started a study after many rhinos died due to natural causes. Rhinos have not died due to poaching in recent years.

According to Prakash Upreti, assistant conservation officer of the park, one died after being hit by a fallen tree while others died due to fighting, falling into a swamp, being attacked by a tiger, getting old, and getting electrocuted. He said that majority were calf (Baby Rhino) among the dead.

Earlier, two rhinos were found dead at the national forest and national park areas due to food poisoning and landing up in animal husbandry.

The increase in rhino deaths due to natural reasons has been a matter of huge concern in the conservation field

Preparation for the count of rare one-horned rhino under the government investment of Rs 11 million has been impacted by COVID-19. The rhino census was supposed to take place from Chitwan national park on 23 March.

The first phase of the census was to take place in Chitwan and Parsa national parks and the second phase was to be carried out in Bardiya and Shuklapahnta national parks. Rhino is available in four(Chitwan, Parsa, Bardiya, and Shuklapahnta) national parks of Nepal.

Thirty-five elephants and 60 technical human resources were to be mobilized for rhino count at Chitwan National Park. Authority had planned to complete the census in 20 days. 

Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation had failed to find the extent number of rhinos last year after flood devastation and budget crunch. Rhino census is being held in every five years. The latest census was held in 2015. It was revealed that there were 645 rhinos in the country. Among them, 605 were sighted in Chitwan national park.

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