Collective conservation efforts boost rhino population in Nepal

The population of the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros has increased in Nepal according to a national census.

The data, published in April 2011, indicates there are presently 534 rhinos in Nepal, an increase of 99 since the last survey in 2008. The total figure represents around a quarter of the global population of this species.

Conservation groups have attributed the results to improved management of habitat and to rhino protection measures, including anti-poaching efforts and combating illegal trade of wildlife products across national borders. Poaching for rhinoceros horn has dramatically impacted the animal’s population, and reducing demand for rhinoceros horn from neighbouring countries remains the critical long-term goal, said conservation organisation WWF.

The rhino counting was a combined effort of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of the Government of Nepal, WWF Nepal and the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

“This is a fine example of working together where all conservation partners and local communities are contributing to the conservation efforts of the Government of Nepal,” said Krishna Prasad Acharya, director general of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.