Two rhinos translocated to Manas in Assam

January 6th, 2011 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Two female Indian rhinos - a mother and a juvenile - have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park in Assam under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) programme, a statement here said Thursday.The IRV 2020 programme is a joint collaboration of Assam’s department of environment and forests, the World Wide Fund-India (WWF) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), with support from the Bodoland Territorial Council, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and local communities.

A WWF-India statement said: “A specially trained team released the two rhinos in the Basbari range in the central part of the Manas National Park last week”.

“These were captured through chemical immobilisation in Pobitora on December 28 and transported in specially designed crates in two trucks to Manas, under strict security and veterinary assistance,” it said.

The pair will be observed very closely for the next few months.

According to the WWF-India, the Indian rhinoceros is currently listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“The IRV 2020 programme aims to increase the rhino population in India to 3,000 by 2020 by wild-to-wild translocations from the Kaziranga National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas and others,” the statement said.

Assam accounts for the largest numbers of Indian rhinoceros. Though rhinos in the state have increased from 2,000 in the year 2005 to over 2,200 in 2009, more than 90 percent of these live in just one protected area, which is the Kaziranga National Park.

“The IRV 2020 programme aims to secure the long term survival of wild rhinos in Assam by expanding their distribution to reduce risks like disease and in-breeding,” it said.

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