Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rhino Poaching Is On The Increase

Poaching of rhinos rising globally: Report

Poaching of rhino is on the rise globally, according to a report recently published by International Union for the Nature Conservation (IUCN) and TRAFFIC International. The poaching of the endangered animal in Nepal is also increasing at an alarming rate, with more than a dozen rhinos poached this year.

Greater one-horned, lesser one-horned, Sumatran, black rhino and white rhino are scattered in Africa and Asia. Nepal boasts of greater one-horned rhino.

The greater one-horned rhino (rhinoceros unicornis) is currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. There were 612 greater one-horned rhinos in 2000 in Nepal but the number fell to 444 in 2008.

Thirteen African countries are home to the black and white rhino species, with a total population of 21,700. According to the report, 470 white and black rhinos have been poached between 2006 and 2009, with 69 per cent shot dead.

In Asia, targeted poaching seems restricted to greater one-horned rhino. In Nepal, between mid-1999 and mid-2007, more than 149 rhinos were reportedly poached, with severe effects on rhino number in Chitwan and Bardia national parks, where 52 per cent and 86 per cent deaths were attributed to poaching. While rhinos continue to decline in Bardia, Chitwan’s numbers are now increasing following improved political stability, states the report.

The greater one-horned rhino inhabits in Nepal and India only. The poaching is rampant in India too. The report says, in India, most rhino poaching has occurred in Kaziranga NP, with 20 killed in 2007, 10 in 2008 and seven in 2009.

The report states the

Javan rhino (rhinoceros sondaicus) is now critically endangered. Ujung

Kulon NP in west Java, Indonesia currently conserves between 38-44 rhinos.

“The resurgence of rhino horn trade in Vietnam, possibly China and other parts of Asia is of paramount concern, but remains poorly documented, especially the extent of usage and trade in end-use markets in Asia,” states the report. It pointed Kathmandu as the transit for the trade of horns



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