World Rhino Day – 22nd September
Today is World Rhino Day. With that in mind, WWF have been highlighting the plight of the greater one-horned rhino in Nepal. Once they were found across most of Asia but are now only found in Nepal and northeast India.
A hundred years ago there was only around 200 wild greater one-horned rhinos in the wild. Their numbers have since increased due to conservation efforts. There is now thought to be 3,700 in the wild. However, they are still very much at risk from the rising threat of poaching and loss of habitat.
To monitor the number of rhinos in the wild, authorities in Nepal take on the huge task every 5 years of counting their rhinos. This is an important data gathering exercise as it informs the team on how well conservation efforts have gone, and helps guide future conservation strategy.
GPS is used to track and record the rhinos across over 3,000 square kilometres of varied land. Their habitat includes grasslands, forests and floodplains.
The latest count showed a concentration of rhinos in the western part of Chitin National Park. Dry conditions elsewhere in the park may have contributed to this distribution.
Why They’re Important
The greater one-horned rhino plays a key role within their ecosystem. They eat on the grasses near the rivers and keep the grass short which makes the area attractive for smaller herbivores too. In addition they disperse seeds within their poo, which maintains the cycle of spreading plants and trees across the area.
How to help
If you would like to find out more about Rhino conservation and how to support it then please head to our Adopt a Rhino page