Some welcome and positive news pertaining to rhinos; the new Chief Minister of the Indian state of Assam vowed in May 2021 to stop poaching in the state’s wildlife preserves once and for all.
After 20 months, the state’s forestry and police authorities confirmed that no rhinos were lost to poachers in 2022. This marked the first time since 1977 that no rhinos have been lost to poaching in the state.
Assam is home to the Kaziranga, Manas, and Orang national parks, as well as the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, and it shares borders with Tibetan China to the north and Myanmar to the east, making it one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.
Nearly all of the 2,895 rhinos in the state may be found within these four protected areas, which together make up the majority of the one-horned rhinoceros’ range in the country.
The Special Director General of Police, G. P. Singh, was assigned in charge of the anti-poaching task group that Chief Minister Sarma established. The task team compiled information about past rhino poaching incidents, including dates, locations, and methods. The phones of convicted poachers were tapped, and local fishermen and peasants were recruited to act as informants.
Once the construction moved within the park, the rhinos were given the presidential treatment. The parks were monitored by elite police commando squads armed with night vision devices and drones, with an extra patrol on full moon nights.
Kaziranga’s rhinos had to seek higher ground due to monsoon floods in 2022, thus the staff had to work around the clock to ensure their safe return to the park after the flood waters subsided.
“If we continue with this pressure, rhino poaching will stop completely,” Singh told the Hindustan Times. “For this, the cost to poachers has to be higher than the profit they earn.”
A coworker remarked that the level of coordination has improved to the point that the frequency of poacher arrests is now measured weekly rather than monthly.
Because of people like you, the population of one-horned rhinos has gone from roughly 100 in 1910 to almost 3,000 now.