The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Uttarakhand has created a DNA database of rhinos from Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
This has been done for the first time in the country.
The compilation is part of a larger DNA database of 3,300 rhinos in India which was proposed by the Dehradun-based Institute earlier this year.
Samrat Mondal, who is leading the project at WII said, “Our work is aimed at curbing poaching of rhinos and destabilizing the trade of rhino body parts. A DNA database will allow the concerned authorities to match the confiscated rhino parts with the tissue of the poached animal and thereby, not only identify the rhino but also cement a case against the poacher.”
According to what Mondal said, the Institute has managed to obtain the DNA samples of about 40 rhinos from the Manas National Park and about 80 rhinos from the Kaziranga National Park, of Assam.
Apart from that, they have also obtained the samples of 40 rhinos from the Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh and 100 rhinos from the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam.
The project is aimed at curbing Rhino poaching. Mondal said that four cases of poached rhino parts have already been solved with the help of the data collected by WII, reports Times Now.
The World Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) India chapter is helping WWI with the collection of rhino dung and individual-level data.