Rhino count goes up in Dudhwa Reserve

Lakhimpur Kheri, April 24 (IANS) A day-long census conducted in two ranges of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has confirmed the presence of at least 40 rhinos in 75 per cent area of the park, compared to 34 counted during a survey done in 2017.
 
Rhino count goes up in Dudhwa Reserve

Lakhimpur Kheri, April 24 (IANS) A day-long census conducted in two ranges of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve has confirmed the presence of at least 40 rhinos in 75 per cent area of the park, compared to 34 counted during a survey done in 2017.

The survey was carried out by Dudhwa officials in association with WWF-India.

Officials said they could cover only 75 per cent of the area due to the tall grass and marshy land and hoped that the actual count of rhinos could be higher.

Dudhwa field director Sanjay Pathak said on Sunday: "The signs are encouraging. The rhino count may be higher as we could cover only 31 square km of the total 41 square km reserve area. Soon, we will conduct a RhODIS (Rhino DNA index system) survey to get the exact rhino count."

The previous census was done in 2017 and the rhino count at the time was 34.

The survey was conducted under the guidance of senior officials from NTCA (national tiger conservation authority), WWF-India and the state forest department.

Pathak said: "Officials conducting the census were split into seven teams across two locations in the reserve. The teams sighted 28 adult rhinos -- seven males, 16 females, but sexes of five rhinos could not be identified as they were in deep water. Four sub-adults aged between one and three years and eight calves aged less than one year were also seen.

"The figures are encouraging as we had lost three adult rhinos since 2018. The rhinos in Belraya range have also conceived and their calves have survived from carnivores animals."

--IANS

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