The biodiversity crisis has many faces, the rhino being one of them. The decline of the animals at the hands of poachers has seen numbers crash in recent decades. There are now just two northern white rhinos left on Earth; a mother and daughter.
But this week there was some positive news for the species in Asia, where they have been the subject of conservation efforts. A census of the one-horned rhino in India and Nepal revealed that the population has risen to 4,014.
“For a species that was once perilously close to extinction, numbering fewer than 100 individuals, this recovery is truly remarkable,” said Nina Fascione, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.
The greater one-horned population increased by 274 since the last count, helped by a ‘baby boom’ during the pandemic when protected areas were closed to visitors.
“The recovery of the greater one-horned rhino is a conservation success story – but the story isn’t over yet,” said Fascione. “The species is still classified as vulnerable and inhabits only a fraction of its former range.”
Image: Nejib Ahmed