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World Rhino Day — September 22:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

Assam marked World Rhino Day — September 22 — with a special ceremony by burning a stockpile of nearly 2,500 horns of the one-horned rhinoceros.

  • It has been publicised as a milestone towards rhino conservation and is aimed at busting myths about rhino horns.
  • It’s a loud and clear message to the poachers and smugglers that such items have no value.

 

Is the government allowed to do so?

India is a signatory to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna). Thus, it is illegal to sell the horns in the country anyway.

  • Also, the case for the destruction of horns is a process that is in compliance with Section 39(3)(c) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.

 

About One- horned rhinos:

  • Only the Great One-Horned Rhino is found in India.
  • Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species.
  • It is identified by a single black horn and a grey-brown hide with skin folds.
  • They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.

 

Protection Status:

  1. IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
  2. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I (Threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research).
  3. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.

 

Other Conservation Efforts by India:

  • The five rhino range nations (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia) have signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species.
  • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
  • National Rhino Conservation Strategy: It was launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.

 

About the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020):

Launched in 2005.

  • IRV 2020 is an initiative led by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, in partnership with WWF India, International Rhino Foundation, and several other organizations.
  • The goal of IRV2020 was to increase the rhino population in Assam to 3,000 by establishing populations in new areas.
  • Rhinos are now found in four Protected Areas in Assam: Pabitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and Manas National Park.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

Two adult one-horned rhinos were recently translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park, under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Different Rhino species.
  2. One horned Rhino in India.
  3. Habitats.
  4. Conservation status.
  5. Conservation efforts.
  6. About IRV 2020.

Mains Link:

Write a note on IRV 2020.

Sources: the Hindu.