The Greater one-horned Rhino population is thriving in Orang National Park in India. This is thanks to global and local partnerships between the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), Zoo Basel, Orang’s forestry officials as well as local and national government officials, who have been able to strengthen protection and monitoring activities. As a result, no rhinos in Orang have been killed by poachers for the past three years, the population increasing from 68 to an impressive 101.
“The continued recovery of the greater one-horned rhinos in India is a direct result of the coordination of local and national government coordination, setting a strong example for the world in protecting wildlife,” said Nina Fascione, IRF’s executive director.
In 2017, key protection investments were made through a grant from Zoo Basel and IRF. The funding was used to purchase additional vehicles and a high-speed boat to patrol both land and water. In addition to the equipment upgrades, comprehensive workshops were conducted with more than 65 park staff. These workshops provided information on patrol strategies, documentation procedures for sightings and wildlife crime best practices to name a few.
Additionally to ensure an extra level of security, training has been continued to ensure that staff is prepared to handle the continuous and evolving threats from poachers. With these measures, there is hope this will continue to allow the Rhino population to thrive.
“The activities in Orang demonstrate that with strict protections and smart habitat management, ecosystems can recover, and wildlife will thrive,” said Fascione. “Orang can serve as a model as additional habitat is established for the greater one-horned rhino’s continued population growth.”