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Published April 27, 2011 08:48 AM

In the News: Rhinos in Nepal increase in number

Nepal's rhinos are on the increase, according to recently released data from a three-week National Rhino Census in Nepal by WWF. There are now 534 rhinos in Nepal, marking an increase of 99 rhinos from the 435 recorded in the last census in 2008.


Conservationists recently spent 3 weeks riding elephants to count rhinos in the forests of Chitwan in southern Nepal and Bardia in the southwest. The surveys were a combined effort by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of the Government of Nepal, WWF Nepal and the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

Of the total 534 counted rhinos, 503 rhinos were recorded in Chitwan National Park, 24 in Bardia National Park and 7 in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.

Poached for traditional medicines

The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), or greater one-horned rhinoceros, was once widespread throughout the northern floodplains and nearby foothills of the Indian sub-continent, between the Indo-Myanmar border in the east and the Sindh River basin, Pakistan, in the west.

Threatened by habitat loss and the illegal trade in rhino horn, which is used in traditional Asian medicine to treat a variety of ailments, today the remaining 3,000 Indian rhinos are found only in a few protected areas in north-eastern India and lowland Nepal. Although international trade in rhino horn is banned under CITES, the demand for rhino horn remains high.

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