New Delhi: Terming the poaching of one-horned rhino as a serious matter, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said he will hold a meeting in Assam shortly to evolve a strategy to deal with the issue.
Responding to a supplementary in the Lok Sabha, he said he would visit the Kaziranga National Park after the ongoing Parliament session and hold a meeting with local officials and people's representatives so that they can apply their minds on the best way to check poaching.
He said he will also discuss on the role of infiltrators from across the international borders in killing on single-horn rhinos.
Rhino horn is highly valued across the world for its alleged aphrodisiac qualities and is used in traditional medicine.
Mr Javadekar also said the Ministry has identified 17 species for providing financial assistance to states to ensure protection of their habitat.
The programme has achieved considerable success in respect of vultures, Manipur brow-antlered deer, edible nest swift-let and lion with their population showing an increasing trend.
The population of Manipur brow-antlered deer has risen from 14 in 1975 to 204 in 2013. In case of vultures, the decline in population has been arrested due to conservation efforts including the ban on veterinary use of diclofenac.
The population of lion in Gujarat has also shown an increasing trend. It has increased from 284 in 1990 to 349-369 in 2005 and to 411 in 2010, while tiger population stood at 1,706, he said.