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State of the Rhino 2023: World Rhino Day


  • The World Rhino Day is observed on 22nd September, every year, to spread awareness about the struggle Rhinoceros do for their survival.
  • Rhinoceros are endangered animals on this planet because they are affected by poaching, deforestation and other inhuman practices.
  • The day was first announced by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-South Africa in 2010.


  • The crisis of the Rhinoceros began in Africa in 1990, when poaching for their horns increased rapidly.
  • By 2010, it became a nationwide crisis when the situation became grave as only 30,000 rhinos were alive over the planet.
  • This was the time when the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)- South Africa introduced World Rhino Day to draw attention towards the crisis.

The State of the Rhino 2023:-

  • The International Rhino Fund (IRF) have published the report, State of the Rhino, 2023 which estimates about the current population and trends for the five surviving rhino species in Africa and Asia.
Major Threats:

  • Apart from poaching and habitat loss, climate change-induced droughts have been threatening the rhino population in Africa.
  • While in Asia, climate disruptions like increased precipitation, longer monsoon periods and seasonal floods can lead to more rhino deaths.
  • Changes in weather conditions and landscape may lead to the expansion of invasive species and overtaking of rhino food plants, causing habitat degradation.
  • Poverty due to crop loss and reduction in livestock may result in increased cases of poaching as a means for earning.
  • Poaching continues to remain the most biggest threat, as in the first six months of 2023 alone, around 231 rhinos were reportedly poached in South Africa, while 448 were killed in 2022.

Status of Rhino:

  • While there were no poaching deaths reported in 2022, India has recorded two deaths of Great One-Horned Rhino (Rhinoceros Unicornis) until September 2023.
  • The deaths were reported from Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park.
  • Nepal also has reported two poaching cases from Chitwan National Park in January.
  • The population of black rhino is increasing, estimated at 6,195.
  • Black rhinos are spread across 12 African countries and once were most common among the other rhino species.
  • The population of Javan Rhinos are estimated to be stable at around 76.
  • The global population of rhinos is estimated to be a little over 26,000.
  • Since 2012, white rhino numbers have decreased by 24% to an estimated 15,942, while white rhinos had made a comeback from fewer 100 individuals in 1900s to around 21,000+ at the end of 2012.
Conservation Efforts:

  • A Rhino translocation to Manas National Park is scheduled for 2024 is expected to take place for ensuring better movement of the population.
  • In 2022, the Assam government finalized the addition of approx. 200 sq. km. to Orang National Park in the north-central Assam, to expand the protected area by almost double.
  • By this move, the government is completing the creation of a linked corridor between all the protected areas in Assam that hold rhinos: Manas National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Orang National Park, the Laokhowa and Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuaries and Kaziranga National Park.
  • Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was chosen by Assam government to protect and increase the population of the one-horned rhinoceros.
Source - Down To Earth

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