When it comes to animal welfare and conservation, there tends to be more bad news than good. It seems like every year, more species are pushed to the brink of extinction and there’s not a big enough push for conservation.
2022, however, saw some great news for rhino conservation! For the first time in 45 years, not a single rhino was poached in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, according to the Hindustan Times.
The Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, took to Twitter to share the news.
“Zero Poaching! 2022 was really special for our rhino conservation efforts. Not a single rhino being poached in 2022 & just 2 in 2021, the gentle giant is now much safer in Assam.”
2022 was really special for our rhino conservation efforts. Not a single rhino being poached in 2022 & just 2 in 2021, the gentle giant is now much safer in Assam.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 2, 2023
He ended the post with a “kudos” to the Assam Forest Department and Assam Police for their efforts in protecting the iconic rhinos.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, greater one-horned rhinos (also known as Indian rhinos) play an important role in local ecosystems and are relied on by other herbivores.
Unfortunately, IFAW reports that the populations were “decimated in the early 19th century due to the popularity of sport hunting.” By 1908, it’s believed there were only 12 rhinos left in all of Kaziranga, India. Despite conservation efforts, poachers continue to attack greater one-horned rhinos and have pushed them nearly to extinction.
Beyond poaching, the species also faces threats from climate change and habitat loss from human logging and building.
Despite the challenges the rhinos face, governmental authorities and conservationists are continuing to fight to preserve individuals and keep their populations thriving.Whizzco