June 1, 2012

Kaziranga Swamp Deer Radio Collared

In a milestone project, Assam Forest Department and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is working on radio collaring rare Eastern Swamp Deers found only in Kaziranga National Park. This project is sponsored by ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation). Idea behind radio collaring them is to collect and organize their data to study their behavior and day-to-day activities. Study results will be used to making plan for their better conservation and increase their population so that later they may to shifted to nearby wildlife sanctuaries also. Swamp deer is a main prey of Kaziranga tigers so their conservation will indirectly result in better conservation of tigers also. So far no study was carried out on life of Eastern Swamp Deers.

Eastern Swamp Deer is a rare deer species now found only in a limited area of North-East India. Now they are found only in Kaziranga national park of Assam. Experts have a view that these swamp deers are more vulnerable than one-horned rhinos and tigers so their conservation efforts in a immediate need. One more species of Swamp deer is available in Kanha National Park also but is different from Kaziranga’s one. Kanha swamp deers are rare Hard-ground swamp deers which can be seen in Kanha forest only and will recently shifted to nearby national park to spread their population.

Recently 02 swamp deers (01 male & 01 female) were tranquillized and fitted with radio-collar but after a day female Swamp deer found dead in Mihumukh area of Kohora range in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve. Postmortem was carried out and veterinarian suggested haemorrhagic enteritis as cause of death which has nothing to do with radio-collaring. Second radio-collared male swamp deer is doing well. Team has planned to radio collar at least 10 swamp deer in first step.

We hope this joint operation will be successfully carried out and their results will help the authorities to do better conservation of rare swamp deers in Kaziranga so that in future they will be translocated to nearby national park like Manas national park, Nameri tiger reserve, Dibru-Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary etc. It is a good effort by Assam Forest Department and is in benefit for Assam wildlife tourism also. In coming days, few more swamp deers will be radio collared.

April 14, 2012

Rhinos population increased in Assam

Recently concluded one-horned rhinos census-2012 have revealed the fact of 2505 rhinos present in Assam region. Last rhinos census was conducted in year 2009 shows count of 2201 rhinos which is 304 less in compare to current figure. Increase in one-horned rhinos by 304 is a good sign and derives appreciation to the efforts of all the authorities engaged in rhino-conservation.
As per current report, among 2505 rhinos, Kaziranga have 2290 rhinos, Orang National Park have 100 and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have 93 and World Heritage Manas National Park have 22 rhinos. Currently prevailing rhinos in Manas National Park was result of translocations from Kaziranga and Pobitora forest areas under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 programme. Among 2290 rhinos, 508 are mother rhinos and calves are also in equal number.
Current increase in Kaziranga is of 242 rhinos as in year 2009 rhinos it was 2048 rhions. Similarly increase in Orang National Park is of 36 rhinos, 17 rhinos in Pobitora wildlife sanctuary. Prinicipal Chief Conservator of Forest comments on this report as “The growth is satisfactory. We will be able to achieve the target of 3000 rhinos as IRV 2020 target”.

February 24, 2012

Rhino Translocation from Kaziranga to Manas National Park

Following the path of "Indian Rhino Vision 2020" program, 04 more rhinoceros have been translocated from World Heritage site Kaziranga National Park to another World Heritage site Manas National Park. These rhinos belongs to the endangered great Indian one-horned rhinos species. Among them 03 of them are females and 01 was male. Translocation took place on 20/Feb/2012 in which rhinos were releasedin Buraburijhar range of Manas National Park. With this latest rhinos shifting, total reaches 16 to Manas National Park. In addition to Kaziranga, some rhinos will be taken from Pobitora wildlife sanctuary also for Manas.

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 is a joint collaboration with WWF, International Rhino foundation, Us Fish & Wildlife Service & Bodoland Territorial Council. Its objective is to raise rhino population about 2000 to 3000 by the year 2020 and also to ensure their healthy distribution among 7 protected areas. Since 1905, when hardly 20-30 rhinos were left in Kaziranga, conservation project was undertaken and agencies achieved major success in it. But now conservation authorities aiming to do it more seriously and better way. At present rhinos population is mainly concentrated in Kaziranga and Pobitora wildlife sanctuary. Their increasing population is creating stress in biodiversity of parks and resources. Similarly poaching is also another threat due to which Laokhowa forest lost its rhino population where about 50 rhinos were present in past. Same is the case with Orang National Park.
So here it is needed to improve security in rhino areas, ensure better distribution of rhinos to reduce risk of stochastic catastrophes, reduce population pressure in Pobitora to maintain ecological balance. So current translocation is one of many steps to achieve long term goals.

We wish them all the very best and our sincere support.
The four one-horned endangered rhinos, of which three are females, were translocated from Kaziranga National Park and later released in the Buraburijhar range of Manas yesterday. With the latest translocation, a total of 16 rhinos have been released into the wild in Manas National Park, under the Rhino Vision programme. Apart from Kaziranga, rhinos from Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary, an area which has the highest density of the animals' population, have been taken to Manas. The Rhino vision programme is a joint collaboration with WWF, the International Rhino Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in which Manas reserve exists. Manas national park, also a tiger reserve, and Kaziranga National Park are two world heritage sites in Assam.