Rhino Research and Conservation
The conservation of Greater One Horned (GoH) Rhino in Assam has been regarded as the epitome of conservation movement in Assam. The IUCN has listed the GoH rhino as Vulnerable species in its Red Lists of Threatened Animals. In Assam, currently Kaziranga NP is having 2401 rhinos, Rajiv Gandhi Orang NP is having 100 rhinos and Pabitora WLS is having 93 rhinos as estimated by Forest Department of Assam. The Manas National Park in Assam is currently having about 28 rhinos.
The GoH rhino is also the State Animal of Assam and as such its conservation always been in the focus of wildlife conservation efforts in Assam and Rhino Research and Conservation Division (RRCD) was launched in 1994 to address the conservation challenges the GoH rhino has been facing to secure the future of rhinos in Assam with wide range of initiatives.
Creating rhino conservation awareness among the students are important to inculcate in their minds love for the rhino. Students are the future of any nations and to create and strengthen rhino conservation mindset among the students RRCD in association Environmental Education and Capacity Building Division of Aaranyak has been conducting Rhino Goes to School activities in schools located around rhino bearing areas of Assam and also in some major cities and town.
This division of Aaranyak has been proactively supporting rhino conservation in Assam since 1998 by offering field equipment to rhino bearing areas of Assam that included wireless communication equipment, field vehicles, motorbikes, solar panels, floating boat camps, vehicles, rain coats, winter cloths and field shoes for use by forest staffs of rhino bearing areas. RRCD also supported rain coats, field shoes and torch lights to members of Village Defense Patrol groups working around Kaziranga NP in 2016-2017.
To assist rhino conservation in Assam, Aaranyak partnered with UK based The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) to strengthen rhino conservation in the field sites. Over 300 wireless equipment were sponsored over the years to enhance wireless communication network within the rhino bearing areas in Assam including Kaziranga NP and Orang NP. It has also provided two well-equipped anti-poaching boats to Kaziranga NP, vehicles, motor-cycles to the forest department in order to gear up rhino protection measures. Two anti-poaching floating boat camps were sponsored by Aaranyak and The DSWF to enhance vigilance in river Brahmaputra along the northern part of Kaziranga NP. The first boat camp was funded by the BBC Wildlife Fund while the second boat camp was funded by David Back representing London Property Industry through DSWF and Aaranyak.