State of the Rhino 2023

State of the Rhino 2023

News: Recently, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) published the report, State of the Rhino, 2023 which documents current population estimates and trends for the five surviving rhino species in Africa and Asia.

Background:
• Every year, World Rhino Day is observed on 22nd September to spread awareness for all five species of rhino and work being done to
save them.

Key Findings:
• Poaching - Poaching continues to threaten all five rhino species and has increased in several regions that had not previously been targeted. South Africa is facing severe losses of its white rhino population due to poaching.
• Black Rhino Populations - Despite constant poaching pressure, black rhino populations are increasing.
• Greater One-Horned Rhino - The population of the greater one-horned rhino in India and Nepal continues to grow thanks to strong protection, wildlife crime law enforcement, and habitat expansion.
• Javan Rhinos - The status and whereabouts of 12 of the approximately 76 remaining Javan rhinos is unknown.
• Sumatran Rhinos - Signs of Sumatran rhinos are increasingly hard to find, creating more uncertainty about their population in the wild.
• White Rhinos - Approximately 2,000 white rhinos from the “World’s Largest Rhino Farm” will now be rewilded throughout Africa.
• Total Rhino Population - With all five species combined, there are just over 26,000 rhinos left in the world.
• Poaching Patterns - Across the globe, rhino populations that were once considered less threatened have seemingly become the primary target of poaching efforts
• Climate Change Impact - Climate change is increasingly impacting many facets of rhino survival

Rhino Conservation projects of India:
• Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV2020)
• New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019: The five rhino range nations (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia, and Malaysia) have signed a declaration for the conservation and protection of the species.
• DNA Profiling: The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
• Community Engagement: A critical component of the process was engaging with local communities to create awareness about the rhino relocation and train youth from adjoining villages to act as conservation volunteers.
• Wildlife Crime Enforcement: Providing logistical support and training for wildlife crime enforcement is a part of annual operations.
• Tracking and Monitoring Rhinos: Tracking and monitoring rhinos on a continual basis to ensure their safety is also part of the conservation efforts.
• Translocation: Growing population by translocating animals to new, sustainable habitats is another key aspect of rhino conservation in India. 

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