CHITWAN, March 16: A rhinoceros census is to be conducted from coming March 23. The Chitwan National Park (CNP) has made necessary preparations for that connection after the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) sent a letter to that effect.
A pre-census training would be organised in Sauraha of Chitwan on March 20 and 21, CNP assistant conservation officer Prakash Upreti said. He said about 100 people including the employees of CNP, the elephant breeding centre and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) would attend the training.
According to him, the rhino census will also be held in Parsa, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta national parks. It is said mid-March to mid-April is the appropriate time for the rhino count. Elephants would be used for the census.
Rhino census was conducted before this in 1994, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015. As per the latest census, the highest number of rhinos was recorded in CNP. Six hundred and five rhinos were counted in CNP. A total of 645 rhinos were counted across the country including CNP.
Rhinos were translocated from CNP to Bardiya and Shuklaphanta in 2016 and 2017 and it is estimated that the rhino population might have increased due to this as well. The number of rhinos killed due to poaching is negligible after the 2015 census. However, the number of rhinos dying due to natural causes has been increasing.