2nd Phase of Rhino Reintroduction Program from Chitwan National Park Ongoing

Preparation for loading the rhino
Preparation for loading the rhino

 

The Government of Nepal (GoN) has taken initiatives to maintain the original assemblage of rhinoceros to alternative habitats through translocations and reintroductions especially from one protected areas to another in the Terai region of Nepal.

Within a period of three years (upto 2018), GoN has endorsed a total of 30 rhino reintroductions from Chitwan National Park to western Terai (Shuklaphanta National Park and Bardia National Park) . Both the parks are seen as high potential sites for creating a second viable sub-population for rhinos in western Nepal.

The overarching objective of this reintroduction effort was to further protect the greater one-horned rhinos by establishing a second viable population in another geographically distinctive habitat.

Out of the 30 rhinos planned for translocation, 5 individuals (3 females and 2 Males) have already been reintroduced from the Sukhibhar area of Chitwan National Park to the Babai Valley of Bardia National Park as part of the first phase between 1st and 5th March 2016,. Similarly, the second phase was recently initiated from 3rd April 2017 under the technical support of NTNC and financial aid from USAID Hariyo Ban Program and ZSL-Nepal. During the second phase, a total of 10 rhinos have been planned to undergo immobilization and reintroduction—5 in BNP (1 male and 4 females) and 5 in SNP (1 male and 4 females). During the first day on 3rd April only one male was successfully captured and reintroduced to SNP, whereas on 4th April one male and one female have been captured and released—male in Babai Valley of BNP, and female in SNP. Immobilization and reintroduction operations continue  as we report.