Amid death, there is new life at Kaziranga National Park. At the end of a two-day rhino population census at the Unesco World Heritage Site, the population of rhinos was found to have increased by 39 in 11 months.
Between 1984 and 1991, the rise in Kaziranga rhino count was 174 and between 1993 and 1999, it increased by 388. Between 2006 and 2013, the park saw a rise of 474 rhinos.
Forest and environment minister Rockybul Hussain said here on Tuesday that 135 rhino calves between 0 and 1 year have been counted in this estimation. There are 276 rhinos in the age group between one and three years.
"In the last estimation done in April last year, the population was 2290. In 11 months, the population has now become 2329," added the minister. On the other hand, poachers have killed 10 rhinos in the first three months of this year so far.
According to the estimation, adult female rhinos outnumber males by 810 to 645. The estimation could not ascertain the sex of 179 rhinos, Hussain said. Similarly, there are more female sub-adult rhinos (3-6 years), 99 females and 97 males. Sex was not determined for 88 rhinos in this age group.
Hussain said the rise in population of rhinos proves a successful conservation story. "Population cannot thrive unless the conservation is good. Wildlife experts say conservation efforts have led to this growth," he added.
The minister said, "This population rise in the park has taken the state closer to its 3000-mark target by 2020. The Indian Rhino Vision, 2020, has set a target of 3000 rhinos in the state by 2020. After this latest round of estimation in Kaziranga, our rhino population in the entire state is 2,545."
Apart from Kaziranga, there are 23 rhinos at Manas National Park, 100 in Orang and 93 in in Pobitora.