Rhino Majuli
Representative image

One-dozen rhinos from Kaziranga National Park may soon find a new address at the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand.

The Uttarakhand wildlife advisory board on November 26 approved a proposal for the reintroduction of one-horned rhinos on an experimental basis in Corbett Tiger Reserve.

The proposal was approved at the 14th meeting of the state wildlife board held in Dehradun under the chairmanship of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Rajiv Bhartari, chief wildlife warden Uttarakhand said the terrain and environmental conditions Corbett Tiger Reserve were suitable for the species.

Bhartari said rhinos will be brought from Assam, and the Uttarkhand government has written to the Ministry of Environment and Forest for clearance for the translocation.

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Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will also write to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal with a request to send rhinos to Corbett Tiger Reserve.

If Assam government agrees to translocate rhinos to Corbett Tiger Reserve, it is obvious that the animals are going to be picked from Kaziranga National Park.

Kaziranga National Park is the largest habitat in the world for the one-horned rhinos.

According to the 2018 census, Kaziranga National Park has a population of 2,413 one-horned rhinos.

Earlier in 1984, two male and three female rhinos were transported from Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam to Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh.

The translocation program was a success and Dudhwa National Park now has 30 one-horned rhinos.

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Bolstered with the success of translocation programme in Dudhwa National Park, the Uttarakhand government is now serious to introduce rhinos in Corbett Tiger Reserve.

A team of wildlife department officials from Uttarakhand are also likely to visit Kaziranga National Park soon to work out the modalities.

The Uttarakhand government is planning to take 10 to 12 adult rhinos from Kaziranga National Park.

Qamar Qureshi, a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun said they had recommended re-introduction of rhinos in Corbett in 2007.

The scientists believe that Corbett Tiger Reserve is suitable for rhino re-introduction as it is protected and has good floral diversity.

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Corbett Tiger Reserve has highest number of tiger reserve in India, and is believed to have 260 tigers.

The wildlife scientists are also confident that there would be no conflict between tigers and rhinos in Corbett.

Tigers generally don’t attack adult rhinos. And even in Kaziranga National Park, there are no reports of conflict between tigers and rhinos.

Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in