KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Nepal is all set to conduct national rhino census in Chitwan, Parsa, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta national parks this winter, officials said on Thursday.
Hari Bhadra Acharya, Information Officer at the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, said they are making final preparations to conduct rhino census.
In 2018, the department was forced to put off its plan to conduct the census as the government did not release the required budget although it was earmarked before. Although there was a plan to conduct the rhino census in March 2020, this could not be done due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures to contain the spread of this virus.
However, this year the budget has already been allocated. "We have allocated eight million rupees for conducting rhino census," Acharya said.
Rhinos are mainly found in Chitwan, Parsa, Bardia and Shuklaphanta national parks of the country.
Prior to this, the rhino census was held in 2015. Ananta Baral, chief of the Chitwan National Park (CNP) said that it will take a month to count rhinos in the CNP.
The government conducted rhino census in 1994, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015.According to the latest rhino census, 605 rhinos were counted in CNP alone.