Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV2020)

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was launched in 2005. The IRV2020 came to a close in April 2021. The main aim of the IRV2020 was to achieve a population of 3000 wild rhinos in Assam distributed over 7 of its protected areas (PAs) by the year 2020.

This topic is very important for Prelims as well as Essay, GS Paper 2 and GS Paper 3 paper of the mains IAS Exam.

Why is Indian Rhino Vision 2020 in the news?

On April 13, 2021, the eighth round of rhino translocation under Rhino Vision 2020 came to a close after translocating two rhinos from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park in Assam. With this, the IRV2020 is believed to have reached its target of achieving a population of 3,000 rhinos in Assam. However, the plan to spread the population of the rhinos across four protected areas beyond Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, Orang and Kaziranga national parks could not be accomplished.

Important National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in News:

  1. Manas National Park
  2. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Kaziranga National Park
  4. Orang National Park
  5. Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary
  6. Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary
  7. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

Go through the List of National Parks in India on the linked page.

Facts about the Indian Rhino

Indian Rhino plays an important role in sustaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. It is the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered to vulnerable in the IUCN Red list in 2008. Other facts related to the species are given below:

Facts About the Indian Rhino

Scientific name

Rhinoceros unicornis

Also known as

Greater One-horned Rhino

Geographical distribution

  • Found only in the Indian subcontinent
  • Earlier found all along the Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra valley.
  • It is now found in a few areas of the Brahmaputra valley in Assam and in the Terai grassland region of Nepal and India in the foothill of the Himalayas
  • Kaziranga National Park in India and Chitwan National Park in Nepal are two important hubs of the Indian Rhino

Found in the Indian States of

  • Assam
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • West Bengal

Habitat

  • Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands. It thrives in the grasslands (loss in grass quality and changes in the water regimes pose a threat to its habitat).

Diet and life span

Indian Rhino is a herbivore and has an average life span of 40 years in the wild.

Status in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Status of the Indian Rhino in the IUCN Red list

Vulnerable

Status in CITES

Appendix I of CITES

Rhino species in Asia

There are 3 species of rhino in Asia, i.e.

  • Greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)
  • Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
  • Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Read about Indian Rhinoceros in detail in the linked article.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

Objectives of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020

  • To achieve a population of 3000 wild rhinos in Assam
  • Translocating rhinos from two source populations i.e. Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary into some target Protected Areas (PAs) i.e. Manas National Park, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and possibly Orang National Park.

Implementing Agencies of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020

The Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was implemented by the Department of Environment and Forests of the government of Assam. Other key players included:

  • The Bodo Autonomous Council
  • WWF-India
  • WWF AREAS (Asian Rhino and Elephants Action Strategy) Programme
  • The International Rhino Foundation
  • Save the Rhino Campaign of zoological institutions worldwide
  • Local NGOs

Importance and Benefits of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020

The Indian Rhino Vision 2020 has played a significant role so far and will continue to benefit the species in the future. Some of the benefits of IRV2020 are:

Some

  • The IRV2020 helped Manas National Park get back its World Heritage Site status in 2011.
  • The programme will contribute to the mixing of genes from rhinos from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, which in turn will set up a healthy, breeding population of rhinos for the future of the species.
  • Reduces risk of disease and in-breeding

Also, read about World Rhino Day in the linked article.

Important Initiatives to Protect Rhinos and Other Endangered Species in India and Worldwide

  • The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019
  • National Conservation Strategy for Rhinos (2019)
  • Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species (Part of the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH))

National Conservation Strategy for Rhinos (2019)

  • Started by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India in 2019.
  • The initiative aims to conserve the species by:
    • Strengthening its protection
    • Expanding the distribution range
    • Carrying out research and monitoring
    • Engaging in trans-boundary arrangements
    • Providing adequate and sustained funding

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