Indian Rhino Vision 2020, launched in the year 2005, is an initiative of the Assam State Government’s Ministry of Forest in collaboration with the International Rhino Foundation, WWF India and various other organizations. The purpose of the IRV 2020 was to increase rhino population in the state of Assam to 3,000 by establishing a new region.
The seven planned reserves are Pobitora, Kaziranga, Manas National Park, Orang National Park, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary.
Wildlife relocation is IRV 2020’s integral part, thus, moving rhinos from densely populated parks like Kaziranga to parks that need higher rhino populations like Manas National Park. This is a collaboration between various organizations such as Assam’s Forest Department, the International Rhino Foundation, World Wide Fund India, Bodoland Territorial Council as well as US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Performance of IRV 2020
Although the 3,000 rhino population goal was nearly met, these animals could only be reintroduced in one of the four planned sanctuaries. Plans to spread rhinos across four protected areas other than Pobitora, Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park have proven unfeasible. The resettled rhino helped Manas National Park gain its status as a World Heritage Site in the year 2011. Poaching has declined significantly in the years 2018 and 2019.
About One Horned Rhinos
There are three types of rhinos in Asia which are Javan, Greater one-horned (Rhinoceros unicornis) and Sumatran. Poaching of horns and loss of habitat are two major threats to the survival of Asian rhinos. The five countries of rhinos which are India, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia and Indonesia have signed the “New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinoceros 2019” for the protection of Rhinos.
One Horned Rhinos are confined to the small habitats of India-Nepal-Terai and Assam and northern West Bengal.
Protection Status of Rhinos
Java and Sumatran rhinos are on the verge of extinction, and the Indian rhino is threatened on the IUCN Red List. All three are listed in Appendix I (CITES). One horned rhinos are on List I of the Wild Life Conservation Act of 1972.