It is known worldwide that Assam, a beautiful northeastern state, is the ‘land of the one-horned Rhinoceros’ in India. But in the past few years, a rise in poaching activities has loomed as a serious threat to this vulnerable species, forcing the government to come up with some stringent measures to stem the tide. And as a result of these conservation measures, Rhino population has rebounded showing a remarkable growth of 27% in the state during the last seven years.
According to a recent declaration in “White Paper on Wildlife Conservation in Assam” made by Rockybul Hussain, MoS of Environment and Forest, the rhino population is increasing by 4.6% per year. Not only that, the current rate has exceeded the required rate of 3.25%, which was already decided and calculated as per the “Indian Rhino Vision 2020” for having 3000 rhinos in the state. As per the ‘White Paper’ declaration, Assam holds three-fourth of the total population of one-horned rhino and water buffalo in the world.
According to Mr. Hussain, various steps with the help of legal professionals and wildlife experts have been taken for the protection and conservation of rhinos. As a result of which, rhino count has improved from 2,006 in 2006 to 2,544 in 2013. He also added that the government has taken all necessary steps to control poaching in the state and there is a rise in the number of anti-poaching camps too from 120 in 2002 to 174 currently.
Among the five national parks and 20 wildlife sanctuaries in Assam, Kaziranga National Park (K NP) has witnessed a significant increase from 1,855 to 2,329 during the same period in the last 7 years. Presently, the state houses more than 164 mammal species, 116 varieties of reptiles and 800 different avian species.