In an attempt to effectively monitor endangered wildlife species and receive vital information about them, an adult female rhino from Bardiya National Park (BNP) was successfully collared on Tuesday.
As part of the plan to fit modern satellite-based technology on four endangered rhinos to track real-time information required for their better conservation, the animal from Khata corridor that connects BNP with a protected area in India became the second rhino to be fitted with similar technology in around four months.
In November last year, representatives from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), National Trust for Nature Conservation, WWF Nepal and local communities took part in the first-ever satellite tracking of a rhino in Khata corridor using Global Positioning System that provides real-time and regular information along with exact location of the animal at pre-set intervals.
“We selected Khata corridor to implement this technology as it was considered an ideal site to provide vital information on corridor-based conservation effort along with trans-boundary landscape, and how it could pave the way to long-term conservation,” said Naresh Subedi, a senior official with the NTNC.
The 3km forest stretch known as Khata corridor has played a crucial role in helping rhinos and tigers to freely move between protected areas in Nepal and India in recent times. This has ultimately helped in the revival of habitats for endangered wildlife species in and around the BNP in the western Tarai belt.
BNP and the surrounding community forests are home to 32 of the total 534 rhinos across the country.
Nepal has already demonstrated success in the conservation of endangered wildlife species, mainly tigers and rhinos at the global level. The role of integration of modern technologies like unmanned aerial vehicles, ID-based wearable monitoring system with Google Glass and radio-collar with GPS have been hailed for the success.
Besides rhinos, conservationists have fitted satellite-collar on tigers and snow leopards for effective monitoring.
According to Maheshwar Dhakal, an ecologist and spokesman for the DNPWC, data from the radio collar fitted last November has provided some interesting clues about the use of the biological corridor by rhinos from both Nepal and India and the movement of wildlife along the trans-boundary landscape.