A one-horned rhinoceros has been successfully collared by Nepalese authorities for the first time in Khata Corridor, connecting Nepal's Bardia National Park with India's Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, to study the movement and habitat of the mega species.
The rhino, a sub-adult female, was fitted with a satellite collar yesterday and released back into the wild, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal office.
"This is the first time that we have selected a corridor as a collaring site for rhinos," said Tika Ram Adhikary, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).
"The corridors serve an important contiguous function in the Terai Arc Landscape and with the help of this study we hope to gain from useful insights in conservation that will benefit wildlife and people on both sides of the trans-boundary landscape", he said.
Finnish Ambassador to Nepal, Asko Luukkainen was also present during the collaring operation.
"Data retrieved from the satellite collar will provide key insights to habitat use and movement patterns of rhinos in the corridor," WWF Nepal said.
The information generated will help optimise the land-use pattern, land-cover configuration and habitat management within the corridor for wildlife and human use.
"This will also be used in planning and designing measures to minimise potential and existing human-wildlife conflict, while ensuring permeability for rhino dispersal along the corridor," it said.
The information will provide evidence of corridor use by endangered wildlife to advocate strategic and sustainable approaches to any infrastructure development planned inside the Khata Corridor.
"Conservation strategies with a future outlook need the strong backing of science and informed decisions," said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal.
"The success of the collaring expedition ushers positivity for the conservation programs that would lead to harmony between people and wildlife," Manandhar said.
Nepal observed 365 days of zero poaching of rhinos earlier this year.
With an estimated 534 rhinos in the Terai Arc Landscape in southern Nepal forests, the growth in rhino populations in Nepal is testimony of heightened enforcement measures and effective community conservation programs, WWF Nepal reported.