Nepal's rhino numbers 'recovering' after war

April 24, 2011
A one-horned rhinoceros cub stands in Kashara Chitwan National Park, some 200ksm southwest of Kathmandu. The number of rhinos living wild in Nepal has risen above 500 for the first time since a civil war that led to rampant poaching of the endangered animals, the government says.

The number of rhinos living wild in Nepal has risen above 500 for the first time since a civil war that led to rampant poaching of the endangered animals, the government said Sunday.

It said wildlife experts who have spent the past month conducting an exhaustive survey had counted 534 rhinos in Nepal's southern jungles -- 99 more than when the last such study was carried out in 2008.

The new figures show the one-horned rhino population is recovering after a dramatic plunge in numbers during the 1996-2006 civil war, when soldiers deployed to prevent poaching left to fight a guerrilla insurgency.

Maheshwor Dhakal, ecologist with the government's national parks department, told AFP the rhino population's recovery was down to improvements in law enforcement and in local awareness of the importance of conservation.

"The government is encouraged by this positive result, although challenges remain in curbing poaching and protecting rhino habitat," he added.

Thousands of one-horned once roamed the plains of Nepal and northern India, but their numbers plunged over the past century due to and human encroachment of their habitat.

The animals are poached for their horns, which are prized for their reputed medicinal qualities in China and southeast Asia.

A single horn can sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the international black market, and impoverished Nepal's porous borders, weak law enforcement and proximity to China have made the country a hub for the .

Explore further: Poaching may destroy last Sumatran rhinos

Related Stories

Poaching may destroy last Sumatran rhinos

March 19, 2006

Poaching has greatly reduced Malaysia's population of Sumatran rhinoceroses, but a small group of 13 are holding on, says the World Wildlife Fund.

Rhino poaching surges in Asia, Africa

December 1, 2009

Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Nepal orders probe into slaughter of rhinos

June 14, 2010

(AP) -- Nepal's government was investigating the poaching of rhinos in the Himalayan nation after 28 of the endangered animals were killed over the past 11 months, an official said Monday.

Hornless rhino carcasses found in S.Africa

November 19, 2010

South African wildlife officials have found 18 rhino carcasses dumped by poachers in a remote area with their horns removed, a spokesman for the northern province of Limpopo said Friday.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

4 million years at Africa's salad bar

August 3, 2015

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according ...

A look at living cells down to individual molecules

August 3, 2015

EPFL scientists have been able to produce footage of the evolution of living cells at a nanoscale resolution by combining atomic force microscopy and an a super resolution optical imaging system that follows molecules that ...

New lizard named after Sir David Attenborough

August 3, 2015

A research team led by Dr Martin Whiting from the Department of Biological Sciences recently discovered a beautifully coloured new species of flat lizard, which they have named Platysaurus attenboroughi, after Sir David Attenborough.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.