Rhino numbers on the riseThe population of one-horned rhino stands at 752, a new nationwide rhino census has shown.
The findings of the nationwide rhino count, made public on Saturday in Sauraha, Chitwan, concluded that Nepal’s rhino population has increased by 107 since the last census in 2015.
The country’s rhino population stood at 645 in its four protected areas in 2015.
“The latest finding makes exciting news as the rhino population has increased in the country,” said Haribhadra Acharya, a spokesperson for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “The nationwide census has been by and large successful except for two accidents in Bardiya National Park and Chitwan National Park.”
Despite conservationists hailing the increase in rhino numbers, there is still something to worry about—the decline in the annual growth rate of the rhino population.
When rhino census results put their population at 645 in 2015, the country recorded an annual growth of 5 percent. The number after the 2011 census stood at 534 rhinos—503 in Chitwan, 24 in Bardiya and seven in Shuklaphanta.
From 2011 to 2015, the growth rate was 21 percent. Between 2015 and 2021, the growth rate has averaged at 16.6 percent.
As the census shows, the annual growth now remains below 3 percent.