KATHMANDU, April 11: The rhino population in Nepal has grown up in the last half decade. The number of the endangered species increased by 107 in the last five years in the country. Unveiling the National Rhino Census of 2021, the secretary for the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Dr Bishwanath Oli announced that the number of rhinos inside the country has reached 752. Earlier, the rhino population in Nepal was 647.
According to the census, Chitwan National Park is home to the highest number of rhinos inside the nation with a population of 694. In 2017, the population was just 607. “The rhino population has increased in three national parks of Nepal including Parsa National Park,” Oli added. Furthermore, he also stated that the highest increase in the species population after Chitwan was in Bardiya National park with 38 new rhinos.
“In addition, the rhino population in Shuklaphanta National Park has also increased by 17 new-found rhinos while only three were found in Parsa National Park,” Oli said. The last rhino census had found four new rhinos in the same region.
According to the national rhino census of 2021, there are 146 male and 198 female rhinos in Nepal while the genders of 408 other rhinos are yet to be confirmed.
Furthermore, the enumerators have found that there are 520 adult rhinos and 96 half-aged rhinos in Nepal, while the number of young rhinos is 136 in the country. According to the director general of the Department of National Park and Wildlife Protection, Dr Deepak Kharal, the census was conducted from March 22 and ended on the night of April 9. The data collection and entry work was completed by Friday and Saturday, Kharal added.
“The census was conducted in Chitwan National Park, Parsa National Park, Bardiya National Park, and Shuklaphanta National Park over a span of 23 days with a team of 270 enumerators and 43 elephants,” Kharal added. Kharal also recalled that their team was attacked by the Dhurve Elephant, which injured seven members of the researchers with one left in critical condition and is currently undergoing treatment in Kathmandu.
“After the attack from the elephant, the team was unable to conduct the research for two days including during Holi, which led their team to work from as early as 5 in the morning till the late evenings,”Kharal added. The team conducted their census of the rhinos in Parsa and Chitwan by dividing the area into 19 blocks.