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292 one-horned rhinos in Jaldapara National Park

Kolkata, Mar 31 (PTI) Jaldapara National Park in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district has registered a rise of 55 one-horned rhinos in the last three years, taking the current headcount to 292, a senior forest department official said on Thursday.

The number of rhinos was 237 in 2019 and the national park added 18-19 rhinos to its population every year, Chief Wildlife Warden Debal Roy told PTI quoting the recently released rhino census report of the department.

The 292 rhinos included 179 adults, 45 sub-adults and 68 calves, the report said.

The enumerators found 101 males, 134 females while they were not able to confirm the gender of 57 other herbivores.

In 2019, there was 130 adults, 57 sub-adults and 50 calves in the forest. The enumeration drive took place after a gap of three years.

The national park was divided into 55 blocks for the enumeration exercise which took place on field on March 25 and 26 and each team consisted of four to six members. The teams comprised forest staff, guides, NGOs and forest management committee members of locals.

Altogether 450 people were involved in the enumeration drive.

Two rhinos were spotted outside the enumeration zone – one sub-adult in Nilpara range which went back to Hasimara beat on March 27 and another sub-adult in Patlakawa forest which returned to Sisamara beat on March 29, the forest official said.

The national forest area recorded 40 births of rhinos from February 16, 2019 till March 25, 2022.

Forty-six deaths, including poaching, were also registered during that period, the forest department report said.

“The habitat is conducive for the one-horned rhinos and various steps by the department, to increase the forest cover, to stop poaching, to sensitise the local people living in neighbouring areas of the forest, has led to this increase. But we must continue the work and bring down the number of deaths,” another forest official said.

Like Assam’s Kaziranga, Jaldapara is known to be the habitat of one-horned rhinos in West Bengal. PTI SUS RG RG

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.


Source: The Print

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