Nepal's Rhino Population Increases 20% in Past Two Years

asian rhinoceros photo

photo: Steve Hicks/Creative Commons

There are still a small number of rhinos in Nepal, but there's some good news: A new census of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornus) shows the population there now stands at 534, an increase of 99 individuals since the last time the census was conducted, in 2008.As WWF reports, 503 of Nepal's rhinos are found in Chitwan National Park, 24 in Bardia National Park, and 7 in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (which seems low until you realize that in 2008 there were just 2 there).

This latest rhino census was conducted by Nepal's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, WWF Nepal, and the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

rhinoceros unicornis current and historical range map

The pink area is the historical range of Rhinoceros unicornus; the small red dots are where Indian rhinos currently live. Map: Wikipedia.
Poaching Is Main Threat To Rhinos
As is the case with rhino populations across the border in India, as well as across Africa and Southeast Asia, the main threats to rhinos come from poaching for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine--even though rhino horn has been removed from the official TCM pharmacopeia with alternatives encouraged, and trade in rhino horn banned under international law, demand for rhino horn remains high. Habitat loss due to expansion of areas under human settlement is also a concern, especially in South and Southeast Asia.

More on Rhinos
Rhino Poaching at 15 Year High as Asian Demand Increases
Rhino Poaching Increases 2000% in 3 Years

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