Nepal’s rhino population grows by more than 100 over last five years

Good news from Nepal! The country’s rhino population has seen a significant increase over the last five years. That’s according to the National Rhino Count 2021, which concluded that the current population of the species inhabiting Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape stands at 752 individuals — that’s over 100 more rhinos compared to the 2015 estimate of 645.

The survey, which began on March 22 and ended on April 10, was led by the country’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. It involved 350 technicians and trained personnel sweeping across jungle blocks to document the animal’s presence.

The survey covered rhino range areas within the country such as the Terai Arc Landscape, which includes some of its most iconic national parks, as well as buffer zones and places outside protected areas. During the process, the researchers also collected data on habitat conditions, invasive species in the area, and the impact of human activities on the region.

“The overall growth in population size is indicative of ongoing protection and habitat management efforts by protected area authorities despite challenging contexts these past years,” said Ghana Gurung, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “This achievement is yet another milestone in Nepal’s conservation journey showcasing the impact of concerted efforts of all stakeholders and providing much-needed impetus to the global conservation fraternity.”

Nepal does the rhino count every five years, all in a bid to evaluate the effectiveness of its strategies to protect the animal. Such assessments are vital for ensuring the animal’s wellbeing and guiding the country’s rhino conservation efforts.

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