Kaziranga National Park in the Golahat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam is a world heritage site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world’s Great One-horned Rhinoceros. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected area in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya bio-diversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as a reserve forest.
According to the rhino census conducted last year, there were a total of 2,505 rhinos in Assam, including 22 rhinos in Manas National Park. However, the major concentration of rhino was in Kaziranga with a count of 2,290 rhinos followed by 93 in Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Morigaon district and another 10 in the Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Orang in Darrang district of Assam.
Over 40 one-horned rhinos were killed in 2012 in Assam. While close to 30 rhinos were killed in various protected areas due to devastating floods, more than 12 were killed by poachers, including seven of them killed inside the high security Kaziranga National Park. The poachers, who kills the rare, one horned rhinoceros for its prized horn, whose price in the International market varies from Rs 40 Lakhs to Rs 90 Lakhs. More...