Rhino census to start in north Bengal forests
JALPAIGURI: The forest department will conduct rhino census at Gorumara National Park spread over an area of over 88 square kilometres and other adjacent forestlands on Wednesday and Thursday.
More than 100 groups comprising three persons each would conduct the census on Wednesday morning. On Thursday the process will be repeated. The department is using 15 kunki (tamed) elephants for the purpose. Ten elephants have been brought from Jaldapara in addition to the five 'kunki' jumbos that Gorumara already has. About 150 foresters, 200 members of eco development committees and 30 representatives from different NGOs will take part in the census.
The forest department is also conducting rhino census in Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahahanda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nathua, Lataguri, Panjhora, Ramsai and Baikunthapur forests.
"Often rhinos stray out of Gorumara and therefore we are covering the adjacent forest tracts to ensure that every rhino is counted. There are three rhinos in Nathua, one in Chapramari and another in Baikunthapur, which had strayed out of Gorumara a few years ago. The census will disclose whether there are more rhinos anywhere else," said Tapas Das, conservator of forests, wildlife, northern circle.
Rhinos live in small groups in a confined area they are habituated of and every such area is dominated by the strongest male member of the group. Whenever a male rhino gets out of its area, it has to confront the dominant rhino of the area where it enters. This leads to a fight which often ends up with the death of one rhino.
In the last census conducted in 2012, over 40 rhinos were found present in the national park of which 20 were male, 14 female and six cubs. Foresters expect this number to increase this time.
source from : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Rhino-census-to-start-in-north-Bengal-forests/articleshow/31864263.cms